Tourism Ireland says U.S. President Barack Obama will receive the warmest of Irish welcomes when he visits the Emerald Isle this week. Hundreds of thousands of well wishers will line the streets as the President makes his first visit to Ireland – home to some of his ancestors.
Obama’s heritage has been traced to the village of Monegall in Co, Offaly. There is a great sense of pride in this tiny picturesque village located at the very center of the island, where preparations are in full swing.
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Canon Stephen Neill, Local Church of Ireland Vicar, “Since St. Patrick’s Day when the announcement was made that he was actually coming to Moneygall, since then it has literally been a media storm. I think it’s very good that the President has indicated his confidence and interest in Ireland by coming to visit us here and I think it is the kind of boost we need.”
President Obama will become one of eight hundred thousand Americans expected to travel to Ireland this year and his visit is being seen as a great opportunity to encourage more U.S. vacationers to make the trip in 2011.
“We have huge connections with America and we look forward to deepening those in years to come and giving a warm Irish welcome to all the Americans that come here,” said Niall Gibbons, CEO, Tourism Ireland.
Meanwhile, Tourism Ireland has launched an online game, Ireland Town, which aims to brings the holiday experience in Ireland to life for Facebook fans across the world. (Read: Tourism Ireland with Social Game on Facebook)
During his stay President Obama will also visit the capital city of Dublin where a huge celebration rally is planned.