Barack Obama, President of the United States of America and his wife Michelle, visited the village of Moneygall, Co. Offaly on a wild, windy day, 23 May 2011, retracing the steps of a relative from 6 generations before him, Fulmouth Kearney, a maternal g.g.g.grandfather, who left this tiny village in 1850 and headed to U.S.A. Fulmouth Kearney’s father was a shoemaker in the area. The small house is on the site where his relatives once lived. The President and Mrs Obama sipped Guinness in Ollie Hayes Pub. I just love the image on the wall by the door of the pub (it’s not really George Bush standing there !)
Moneygall is a pretty little village carefully looked after by the residents – every house had window boxes and flowers in full bloom when I passed through on Sunday on my last stop for ‘Heritage Week. A few short years ago, thousands of vehicles passed through this little village every day as it is situated on the busy main Limerick to Dublin road. The village is now bypassed,allowing the villagers to reclaim their special place. Here you can stop and relax and enjoy a cup of coffee and catch up on the link with Barack Obama. Papillion, the winner of the Aintree Grand National in 2000, was bred in this area, and was the most famous Moneygall personality before Barack Obama!
When Obama addressed the crowds in Dublin earlier in the visit,he used the Irish translation from his famous ‘Yes, we can! , which translates to ‘Is feidir linn’. This can be seen on the flower tubs in the village. Well done, Moneygall! Is feidir linn!