Posts Tagged ‘offaly


an unforgettable call to arms

Irish Independent: His voice, that velvet-rich, immense voice, rose and soared and his words were carried by the wind down Dame Street, around College Green, up towards Christchurch, over the sea of people who had come to hear him.

“Is féidir linn. Yes we can. Yes we can. Is féidir linn,” Barack Obama called into the late afternoon as the electric air crackled around him … A massive cheer rumbled and rolled down the carpet of humanity crammed into the city centre.

They were still so powerful, those three small words that swept him into the White House on a wave of hope and a desire for change … And they lost none of their magic as they tumbled in Irish from the lips of one of the most extraordinary orators of our times.

It’s hard to see where all that power and poetry is contained in the slender frame of the 44th President of America, but on a blustery night in Dublin city, his charisma warmed the chilliest soul.

….Enda was only half way through his speech when a bone-rattling roar erupted in front of him. And out on to the stage, hand-in-hand, strode Barack and Michelle Obama, waving and smiling as a chant of “Obama, Obama” echoed around the buildings.

….Slowly and gracefully, the speech built momentum and Obama wove together the shared experiences of Ireland and America and paid tribute to the generations of immigrants who travelled from this country – as did his own great-great-great grandfather from Moneygall in 1850 – to put down roots in his land.

…Waves of emotion poured from the crowd, many of them young people who have suddenly found themselves facing bleak options at a time when their dreams are shattered.

Before the final cheers had quite subsided, he was down in front of the stage, shaking hands, cuddling babies, signing autographs, shooting the breeze.

…Obama didn’t let us down, and he left us with his unforgettable call to arms. “Ireland, if anyone ever says otherwise, if anybody ever tells you that your problems are too big, your challenges are too great and we can’t do something, that we shouldn’t even try, think about all that we’ve done together, remember that whenever hardships the winter may bring, springtime is always just around the corner.

“And if they keep on arguing with you, just respond with a simple creed – Is feidir linn. Yes we can.”

….he touched us all.

Full article here




night everyone

Too many blissful moments to choose from today, but go on then …. I’ll pick these three minutes … just listen to the crowd from 0:18 and watch the President and First Lady’s reaction:

And these five photos….

1 Because the President visiting Ireland meant so, so much to Dan Rooney – just look at his face at Dublin airport this morning, and the way he’s holding the President’s hands:

2 Because the sight of President Obama with a hurley in his hands just cracked me up …. especially when he threatened to use it against Congress:

3 Because the Obamas’ visit to Moneygall gave the village’s people a day they will never, ever forget:

4 Because this photo just showed how fun and utterly lovely the first couple are:

5 Because, for me, this photo is iconic. The sight of President Obama pointing towards the skies, in the general direction of the Irish flag, will hardly make Ireland’s economic disaster go away …. but his speech today made more than a few Irish folk believe that Ireland can come back again: Is Féidir Linn … Yes We Can.

Can I have a sixth? Please? Thanks!

Because they said President Obama couldn’t possibly attract as big a crowd in Dublin as Bill Clinton did 15 years ago.

He did 😉

Thank you for your company on a beautiful day – I won’t be able to post as frequently tomorrow, but I’ll do my best 😉


back to dublin – the concert & the speech

An image of U.S. President Barack Obama is displayed over the crowd awaiting his arrival to address them at College Green in Dublin

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama arrive for a rally on College Green in Dublin



President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama are seen caught in a rainstorm in Moneygall


look out congress

President Barack Obama jokingly swings a hurling stick given to him by Taoiseach Enda Kenny during his visit to Farmleigh House in Dublin


parish news

This is from the Irish news tonight. The video quality is terrible, but you have to hear the priest at the start, he completely cracked me up. When he reads out the parish news every week it’s usually filled with announcements like “cake sale at Mary Mac’s in the morning”.



two more days…

Two American helicopters land in St Flannans Park, Moneygall, Co Offaly, where Barack Obama is due to touch down on Monday

Irish Times: From this morning, Moneygall will be sealed off to the outside world except for those with special access. Cars will be cleared off the main street and locals will brace themselves for the visit of US president Barack Obama on Monday.

Whatever happens, the Co Offaly village will never be the same again. The rather unprepossessing village that motorists thundered through on the way from Dublin to Limerick has been transformed.

Every house has been painted. The streets are festooned with American and Irish flags. Even the altar of the local church has red, white and blue bunting …. Two gift shops have opened  …. The Offaly Independent has been renamed the Obama Independent for the occasion.

…The latest indications are that the US president will land in the hurling pitch at about 3pm and make his way to the home of his ancestor Fulmouth Kearney via the M7 and a specially constructed ramp off the motorway. He will then take a stroll of the village to Ollie Hayes’s pub where it is hoped that he will meet some of his distant cousins including Henry Healy.

…There are no plans for the president to make a speech and a proposed trip to Templeharry Church to see the ancestral records has been cut short because of the brevity of the visit which is only expected to last an hour.

…Fox News, ITV and the BBC were among the broadcasters in the village yesterday. Anna Bosch, the London correspondent of Spain’s national broadcaster TVE, did her piece to camera beside a bust of Barack Obama in Hayes’s pub. “Obama is a rock star in Spain,” she said. “He has never come to Spain, but here he is coming to this little Irish village.”

Proprietor Ollie Hayes says his world changed since Obama uttered the word “Moneygall” when he confirmed his Irish visit on St Patrick’s Day…..

Full article here

Eighth-cousin of U.S. President Barack Obama, Henry Healy, poses with a bust of American president in Ollie Hayes Pub in Moneygall

Local resident of Moneygall Maura Slater poses with her official ticket to see US President Barack Obama during his visit to Moneygall, Ireland

Local Police guard the front of the house occupied by Barack Obama’s ancestors, Joseph and Phoebe Kearny in Moneygall

A local resident of Moneygall holds a ‘Brack’ of bread named after US President Barack Obama. The Irish brack is a fruit loaf bread.

An American car with the registration ‘Obama 1’and reading ‘Yes We Can’ is parked on the main street of in Moneygall

Ollie Hayes Pub in Moneygall


all set


heads up …. then heads down for some sleep ;-)

The President is giving a speech at a DNC event at 9:25 ET – not sure where it’ll be shown, but try CNN



President Obama greets graduates before he delivers the commencement address at the Booker T. Washington High School graduation at Cook Convention Center in Memphis


President Obama listens as Memphis Mayor A.C. Wharton speaks during a meeting with elected officials and families affected by the floods in Memphis, Tenn., May 16 (Pete Souza)


President Obama returns to the White House after a trip to Memphis, May 16


A souvenir button of U.S. President Barack Obama is seen in a store in Moneygall, Ireland, May 16

Obama bread for sale in a shop in Moneygall 😕

Yep, Moneygall again


The sound/synching is terrible in this clip, but it’s worth the pain to hear Richard Clarke’s remarks – thank you Loriah


President Obama speaks at a Democratic National Committee event in Washington, May 16


See you tomorrow 😉


down to a tee

Billy Hayes holds Barack Obama t-shirts inside his shop in Moneygall, Co Offaly, Ireland, as Obama-fever is sweeping the village ahead of the much anticipated visit by U.S. President Obama in May.







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August 2022