Early Monday President Obama and Michelle Obama arrived in Dublin. Security was tight after the death of Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan three weeks ago.
The couple visited the ancestral home of the Kearney family. According to Canon Stephen Neill who was able to track the connection in the registries of the Templeharry Anglican Church Kearney family was involved in family relief communittees for those victims of famine of the 1840s.
People were happy to meet the powerful leader and they are all happy to claim him as Irish as he makes his first state visit to the country.
He also met Irish Prime Minister and Taoiseach Endawhile in Farmleigh, Dublin. Obama said Monday that the U.S. and Ireland share a "blood link" that extends beyond strategic interests or foreign policy into the hearts of the millions of Irish Americans who still see a homeland here.
“The first time I had Guinness is when I came to the Shannon airport. We were flying into Afghanistan and so stopped in Shannon,” the president said as he hoisted a pint of Guinness in a Moneygall pub. “It was the middle of the night. And I tried one of these and I realized it tastes so much better here than it does in the States. ... What I realized was, is that you guys are -- You’re keeping all the best stuff here!”
The small County Offaly village of Moneygall is home to just under 300 people, including distant relatives to Barack Obama. The town's main street is decked out with both American and Irish flags, the houses and shops are freshly painted, and not a pothole can be found.