well, o…..kay

BBC: The forthcoming visit to Ireland by American President Barack Obama has transformed the appearance of a small Irish village. Moneygall in County Offaly is awash with paint, as the rural village prepares to welcome the most powerful man in the world in May.

…To ensure the presidential feet are made as comfortable as possible, the pavements are being dug up, re-laid and smoothed over. It is just one of many improvements being made. Houses on the main street are being cleaned with power-hoses. Gardens are being tidied, new flowers are being planted.

The air in Moneygall is filled with the smell of paint. It seems like every spare brush in County Offaly is being used. Every house is being made to look its best, in preparation for the visit, which is likely to take place on Monday 23 May. The decision by one family to paint their house with the colours of the American flag has not gone down well with some of their neighbours. “It looks a bit tacky,” said one woman, as she watched the street turn red, white and blue.

But, overall, the small rural community has pulled together. The parish rector, Canon Stephen Neill, said: “This has brought joy and excitement to the whole area. It’s something to celebrate in what have been very dark times in our country economically.”

Moneygall has already received an economic boost – 3,500 litres of free paint from Dulux to help with the make-over. The village has no bank, no cash point, no coffee shop and a population of less than 300 people. However, it does have two pubs, including Ollie Hayes’s bar in the middle of the main street. The pub is full of Obama memorabilia, including a life-size bust which has pride of place on the bar. Now, the man himself is likely to call in next month. “It’s something I never dreamt would happen in a small village like this,” said Mr Hayes, as he served a group of American tourists. “We’re going to enjoy every minute of this.”

Moneygall is in the heart of Ireland, about 90 minutes from Dublin, on the road to Limerick.

One of the villagers, Henry Healy, is the eighth cousin of Obama. He said: “At first it felt almost surreal but now it’s becoming very real. He’s coming to Moneygall, he’s coming to my home town and I’m hopeful reality will really kick in if I’m privileged to meet the man and shake his hand. You have to pinch yourself. I got a bit taken aback when I saw the CIA here two weeks ago. I can only imagine what my reaction will be when the man himself actually lands here in the village.”


39 Responses to “well, o…..kay”

  1. 1 sherijr
    April 22, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    I love this little town of people. Folks may consider them corny or whatever, but I’m loving their spirit, their good-will and their enthusiasm.. I find it especially humbling that they are so excited by OUR President.. how they’ve taken him to their hearts and to their homeland. I say thank you Moneygall- you will forever have a place in my heart.

    • April 22, 2011 at 6:40 pm

      Hiya sherijr, they’re good people alright, and I adore their enthusiasm for the visit. I must admit, though, I gulped when I saw the house painted red, white and blue and to be honest, most Irish people would be hugely embarrassed by that! I sent the photo to an Irish pal in New York and she just replied: “NNooooooooooo!!!” 😆 But I love the excitement and all the preparations, the President will receive a beautiful welcome.

      • 3 hopefruit2
        April 22, 2011 at 6:55 pm

        Well, as they say, a picture is worth 1000 words and the most eloquent speech couldn’t express the gratitude that these people feel towards our President for recognizing and honoring them as part of his history.

        • 4 Audrey
          April 22, 2011 at 8:50 pm

          The warmth of the people of Moneygall is infectious! I am so excited and will now include a visit to the town on my next trip to Ireland!

          P.s: I’m tickled by the life size bust of PBO! Notice also that they have given him a very pronounced Irish chin!

      • 5 sherijr
        April 22, 2011 at 6:58 pm

        lol.. I’m betting that house won’t stay that way after his visit.. their hearts are in the right place and its sweet – its not something I’d do (paint my house red white blue), lol.. but hey I love their excitement too.

    • 6 kelly
      April 22, 2011 at 7:20 pm

      Everything you said I agree.

  2. 7 hopefruit2
    April 22, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    I love this and I can’t wait! But folks, be prepared. The Media recognizes the excitement that will come from Obama’s visit to Ireland and they are now trying to push McCain in Libya to counteract whatever positive attention to Obama which will emerge. Now, according to the American media, the Libyan Rebels are basically singing McCain’s praises because he did something that Obama didn’t do. (Of course we know that this narrative is only 0.00008% accurate)…now that their hero Ryan boy failed so miserably they need to change the topic badly. But it’s just a matter of time before this McCain visit backfires and explodes in their faces, AS IT USUALLY DOES WHEN THE MSM COLLUDES WITH THE GOP TO TRY TO DAMAGE OUR PRESIDENT. Let them keep trying.

    Meanwhile, I look forward to seeing pics, videos, and all the O’bamania from Ireland in the coming month!!!!

    • 8 sherijr
      April 22, 2011 at 7:00 pm

      McCain is so pathetic.. he is the media’s President.. and they are welcome to him.. pfft.

      • 9 hopefruit2
        April 22, 2011 at 7:09 pm

        The media seems to have different Presidents-of-the week, all recycled has-beens, or loser wannabes extracted from from the GOP swamp. The week before it was Ryan, last week it was Trump, this week it will be McCain. They all meet the same pathetic fate…

    • 10 kelly
      April 22, 2011 at 7:24 pm

      Wait MSM is trying to push this senator into Libya and saying the rebels are saying he did something potus didn’t do? I don’t understand this.

      • April 22, 2011 at 7:32 pm

        I think the president is CiC not one senator, especially not John CRASH McCain.

      • 12 hopefruit2
        April 22, 2011 at 7:39 pm

        No, the MSM is claiming that the rebels are praising McCain. McCain in turn is criticizing President Obama as not having done enough for the rebels. But the MSM is conflating the two by making it seem as though they are praising McCain and not PBO.

        However, I read from one of the posters on BWD’s site that the NBC news showed the rebels in fact praising Barack Obama, chanting his name, and holding positive signs with his name. But based on the ABC news report I saw, you would think that McCain was the only one receiving praise from the rebels. I suspect the rebels probably think President Obama sent him to Libya, which is why they were praising him. But the media is clearly trying to push a different angle.

        • 13 desraye
          April 22, 2011 at 8:00 pm

          The media is always trying to push an angle. It was no surprise that ABC would frame it as McCain receiving the praise. If you watch Good Morining America you woulld see nothing but Republicans.ABC not even trying to hide that their are shilling for the GOP.

          • 14 Puddin'
            April 23, 2011 at 1:04 am

            I stopped watching GMA when they added Elizabeth (from The View) to their craziness…I don’t even turn on ABC for my local news (and that’s all I use to watch for local news…for the most part, ABC lost me as a viewer after the debate George and Charlie botched up…LOSERS!!!

        • 15 Audrey
          April 22, 2011 at 9:53 pm

          Actually Hopefruit, the media is desperate for their next white hope does not matter if it’s dog, cat or non-functioning drunk! Anyone will do just not the smart, focused, dignified, brilliant, measured, fantastic guy in the White house right now!

          PBO gives them all a huge inferiority complex without even trying, and their uncontained jealousy and rage and every effort to take him down has failed to yield their desired results! They are desperate and coming apart at the seams!

    • 18 Theo67
      April 22, 2011 at 8:42 pm

      I saw McCain all over the screen today, but refused to listen to what that was all about. He can travel all over the world, but there’s only one Commander-in-Chief, and his name is President Barack Obama., who doesn’t strike me as the guy who’s going to be pressured into doing something by the guy who lost an election to him. McCain should be in a church, begging for forgiveness for foisting Palin and the tea party on the world – instead of inciting more war and violence based on his limited judgements.

  3. 20 Suzanne
    April 22, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    I love their appreciation of President Obama. There are certainly people in other countries that don’t agree with him, but I always feel he has their respect and that they recognize the tremendous good he is bringing to this country and theirs. I remember when Irish PM Kenny visited on St. Patrick’s Day. He looked so full of hope. I hope there will be a very positive exchange between the two of them. It would be very interesting to visit a village that was the birthplace of an ancestor. I think we will have some really interesting videos from his trip.

  4. 21 kelly
    April 22, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    This town is perfection. 🙂

  5. April 22, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    No disrespect but that bust looks nothing like our handsome president. NOTHING.

  6. 23 barb
    April 22, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    This upcoming visit is something that makes my heart beat a little faster. I am so excited about the pride that Moneygall in County Offaly Ireland has for their native son (if that correct). They are already benefiting from the makeover of the Village. An appearance from the CIA makes this even more real to them. Ireland has had some tough times and I am sure that this is a visit that they will hold close to their heart and will talk about for years to come. Maybe visiters to Ireland will stop into the pub for a pint on their travels.

    My heart sings with anticipation. I am so happy for them. I look forward to this more than the State Visit to the Queen. As for the American Flag house, I just love,love this family and can also understand the embarrassment of the Village. I wonder how many discussions are going on in the pub about the house. Bless their Irish hearts. I wish my deceased parents were here to see this. 😦

  7. April 22, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    The town has 300 persons. I bet that the presidents detail is double that …. I dont think they have a hotel or anything and the towns population is gonna be x1000000 exploding but the revenue it will bring. Its a small town according to what I read so these are simple folks, they can make one Euro stretch perhaps twenty times further than most of us. There desires and creature comforts are simpler.

    Well the security from Ireland is already in place according to Newspaper reports in Ireland — 6,000 police. Once can say that county will be on lock-down 72 hours before arrival. LOL


    Can you imagine the vendors making enough to go on holiday for a year with the security and international press and tourist!

    I am so happy for Ireland even-though I have never visited her. One day perhaps before I return home stateside I might stop in for a pint at a pub just to put it in the checked and done column.

    • 25 barb
      April 22, 2011 at 8:23 pm

      TEAMOBAMA2012, thanks for the information. A small Village that will be able to glow with pride. Where are all the people going to stay? If there are 6000 police, they alone will take up all the space. I expect all the roads in Ireland will be filled with well wishers. I wish them blessings and that it doesn’t rain. If you every visit have a drink for me also. In the guest book say. “Boyne, McGinnis, Boyd, Cumminskey was here.” 😆

      • April 22, 2011 at 8:29 pm

        Hi Barb, as far as I know the President’s visit to Moneygall won’t last too long (a couple of hours, maybe) and it’s quite close to Dublin, where the President will stay. So the town won’t have to find beds for everyone!

      • April 22, 2011 at 9:15 pm

        barb , consider it done. I have my annual European road-trip planned for summer. I do not know if it will be a good bye or not. I love Lugano, Switzerland my adopted home since 2001. Actually I don’t know if America will accept me , I have been away so long and my heart is truly here.

        I think it is time to see the family, parents are approaching 67 years of age and it has been awhile, so I need a visit.

        Stay Tuned.


    • April 22, 2011 at 8:27 pm

      It’ll be an extraordinary security operation in Ireland next month – the Queen will visit from May 17 to May 20, followed by President Obama three days later. The greater security concerns, really, are for the Queen’s visit, which is opposed by the ‘dissident’ IRA, who have, depressingly, been active again recently (they murdered a policeman in Northern Ireland). Ireland’s version of the professional left (they’re in a small minority) will probably protest the President’s visit (Afghanistan, Libya, etc), but the vast majority will welcome him.

      • 29 barb
        April 22, 2011 at 10:17 pm

        Thanks TEAMOBAMA2019. Lee, I can imagine that Switzerland would be a lovely place to live. I have a friend whose daughter lived there. The benefits are amazing. I hope you can accomplish your trip home and then back to Switzeraland if that is where your heart is. I will stay tuned. 🙂

        Chipsticks, you and I are on the same wavelink. I see that President Obama is stuck between her visit to Ireland on the 17-20th and his State visit to Britian on May 24-26 and then he is off to France. I was unaware that the ‘dissident’ IRA were opposing her visit. It is sad that the peaceloving people have to be denied the opportunity to relax and enjoy the visits from both the Queen and President Obama. This is a Security nightmare. It’s ashame the visits are so close. 😦


        • April 22, 2011 at 10:33 pm

          Hey Barb, the long and bitter history between Ireland and Britain was always going to make the Queen’s first visit to Ireland a contentious one. The majority of Irish people, according to the polls, are fine with it, they think it’s time to ‘move on’, but a minority oppose it. I’m kind of in between, I have absolutely no time for any monarchy, including the British one, and I’d prefer if no ‘Royal’ was afforded a state visit to Ireland, but I sincerely want it to go peacefully without any trouble.

  8. 31 Shirley
    April 22, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    I get the feeling, that the People from Moneygall, are just good old fashion hospitable People. They take The Obamas visit sincerely and seriously, It’s all genuine. I can’t wait to see the pictures etc.

  9. 32 CEB
    April 22, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    You would think that reasonable, patriotic people would be happy that our POTUS is so respected and welcomed by citizens from other countries. This change in how the American presidency is seen translates into national security and advantageous trade agreements that will create jobs and improve our lives and overall economy. We have a president who is greeted with smiles and cheers; not thrown shoes and burning ifigies. Our fortunes are tied up in his; why is this so hard to understand? As much as I disliked Bush 43’s policies, and abhored his seeming lack of intellect and and cultural insularity, I did not think that he was an evil man who wanted to destroy the country; I still respected the office and wanted him to succeed (especially in the days and months following 9/11). I was even haapalled at how Brian Williams treated him during an interview in New Orleans because I felt that that was not how you treated the ofice of the president. This ill will toward PBO, this desire for him to fail; is it really as simple and as short-sighted as racism? Are some so hate-filled that they want everyone to suffer simply because they loated the idea of an A-A man as President? Heaven, help us.

    As for John McCain, when will the pretender go away? How can he think that he matters in any way? Any influence that he may have had (if he ever really had any) is long gone. He should retire gracefully before he is forced to do so.
    Finally, so tired of the breathless coverage of the wedding of a couple who does not belong to us. I am more interested in the couple in our white house. Hope there will be more coverage of the shuttle’s last vaoyage, Gabby Gifford and our Royal family.

    • 33 Sue in Minnesota
      April 22, 2011 at 9:07 pm

      President Obama completely upsets the status quo….completely. I sincerely and sadly believe racism is a part of it, but not all of it. In fact I think those higher up are more threatened by the changing status quo, and the potential shift of power. If Barack Obama succeeds in waking up our population and having them engaged in much greater degrees with the process of government, life as they know it will change drastically. Additionally, we tend to resist change even when we recognize the need for it and see the benefit of what could be, and have difficulty measuring it as it often is subtle and incremental.

  10. 35 CEB
    April 22, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    Sorry, for the many errors; just so full. Had to get it all out.

  11. 36 HZ
    April 22, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    Let us remember that Senator MaCain is just a senator. Barack won the election and he does not have to try to act like the President, we elected him, and he IS the President. Senator MaCain can do his senator springg break as a representative of his committee, but nothing more. Senators make those visits all the time. Senator Obama made when he was a senator, but not to make a President look bad or otherwise. Remember, Senator MaCain still does not realize that he did not win. Sad. Let us move on.

  12. 37 Sue in Minnesota
    April 23, 2011 at 2:14 am

    Senator McCain, since the election has seen to it that his legacy will be marred by his bitter and ungracious behavior. He is a nasty piece of work, and impresses me as an over-rated, egotistical, MSM manufactured tool. I’ll never forget the campaign and how inept he came off during the financial melt down. Everything I have read since confirms that he was in way over his head and relying on bluster and theatrics. We dodged a bullet by not electing McCain/Palin, both sore losers, and both still sucking sour grapes over the loss.

    Thanks be to God for President Barack Hussein Obama!

  13. April 23, 2011 at 6:27 am

    Pay attention to the lyrics, very closely after the 3:00 mark.

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