Obama connects with Irish roots

Obama walked the thronged Main Street of Moneygall, where his thrice-removed grandfather on his Kansas-born mother’s side, Falmouth Kearney, lived until leaving for the United States in 1850 at the height of Ireland’s Great Famine. Obama’s roots in the town were discovered during the 2008 presidential campaign.

Along with first lady Michelle Obama, the president even got to hug a distant relative: Henry Healy, a 26-year-old accountant for a plumbing firm who discovered four years ago he was one of Obama’s closest Irish relatives.

The first couple spent extended time greeting the people who had withstood soaking rain earlier to see them. The thrilled villagers responded rapturously, waving American and Irish flags. “You look lovely!” one woman exclaimed to Mrs Obama. The president held a baby clad in pink hoodie and cap and smiled wide for the crowd. Another boy had climbed high atop the shoulders of a man to get a hello with the president. Both of the Obamas stretched to shake seemingly every hand they could reach.

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