Posts Tagged ‘offaly



22
Apr
11

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.”

BBC

05
Apr
11

‘all the president’s men descend on moneygall’

Irish Independent: … The US president’s men and women descended on Moneygall, Co Offaly, yesterday to begin preparations for his visit to his ancestral hometown in May …Mr Obama is expected to fly into Dublin on Monday, May 23, spend the day in the country, stay overnight in Dublin and depart for London on Tuesday, May 24. His visit will come just three days after Queen Elizabeth completes her historic four-day trip here…

Mr Obama’s advance security team was in Dublin yesterday to visit Aras an Uachtarain, Farmleigh House and the US Ambassador’s residence in the Phoenix Park, and Government Buildings in the city centre. But it was in Moneygall – where locals are well under way with their own advance planning for the visit – that team Obama made its presence felt.

As people hosed down walls and scrubbed the town’s face, two garda outriders led a blacked-out coach and van into Moneygall. Out stepped a group comprised of staff from the US Embassy, the White House, the US State Department and agents from the Secret Service. They were accompanied by officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs as they checked out locations the US president is expected to visit.

“They just wanted to look around, have a chat and ask a few questions,” said local publican Ollie Hayes, who had his pub – and the toilets therein – photographed by the POTUS appointed potty inspectors. “…they had a few refreshments,” he said, and added he hoped Mr Obama would have a pint. “I do hope he comes in here, it would be brilliant.”

..Mr Obama’s distant relative, Henry Healy, said the town was already getting a tourism lift as the buzz surrounding the visit increased. “It’s been crazy but it is exciting times for the village. It’s all positive around here. We are forgetting about the IMF and the bailout. There is unbelievable community spirit for the whole thing, everybody is out cleaning and the painters are coming. The village is really coming together to make sure that Moneygall portrays a perfect picture of Ireland when the president gets here.”

Article here

28
Mar
11

moneygall mania

Okay, you all know that ‘There’s No One as Irish as Barack Obama’ song? Well, it’s been re-made – same tune, but now it’s called ‘Welcome Home President Barack Obama’. 😕

They made a video for it in Moneygall on Saturday, here’s a slideshow of photos from the day:

Irish Times

 

24
Mar
11

‘bush was a uniter, obama’s a divider’

IrishCentral: ….Before Barack Obama became President of the United States the people of Ireland were united, beautifully so … but once it was clear that he was going to be President the real fight started. Neighbor turned on neighbor, brother on brother.

I had never even heard of Moneygall before Obama came along. Why would I have? I’m sure I’ve driven through it on my way to Limerick, but 300 people live there. It made no impression….

When it transpired that Barack Obama is descended from a Falmouth Kearney, who left Moneygall for New York in 1850, suddenly the town started making the news….

Now we have two counties practically ready to go to war over Moneygall. Although the media has repeatedly described Moneygall as being in County Offaly, it apparently could be considered to be in County Tipperary too…

….And now the people of County Kilkenny want in on the action … You see, Falmouth’s family left little by way of a permanent mark on Moneygall, but going back a bit further there is a definite relative, Bishop John Kearney, who is entombed in St Canice’s Cathedral in the beautiful city of Kilkenny.

Now it’s really getting ugly … You see how Obama has divided the people? The desire to claim him as a ‘native son’ could easily lead to blood, war, ruin. Offaly? Tipperary? Kilkenny? Bad-tempered hurling matches engender less bad feeling.

It was all so much simpler with President Bush. No county, no town or hamlet claimed him or wanted to be associated with him. From Election Day in 2000 until he left office, the people of Ireland were quite content and of one mind in detesting the man.

….Now the country is choosing sides in a three-way battle to make Obama their own. It won’t end well. As we all know, the Irish have long memories and this division will take generations to heal.

Full article here

🙂

17
Mar
11

green day (updated)

President Barack Obama meets with Ireland’s Prime Minister Enda Kenny in the Oval Office on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17

US Vice President Joe Biden poses for a photo with Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny and his wife Fionnuala as they arrive at the Naval Observatory March 17

The President with Taoiseach Kenny and Rusty:

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This video doesn’t exist

For some reason this video doesn’t start working until 11 seconds in – so, be patient! It’s from the Irish news tonight.




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