I feel at home in Ireland, says Obama

2011-05-23 21:16

Dublin - US President Barack Obama said on Monday that he felt "at home" in Ireland as a crowd of euphoric Dubliners embraced him as a homecoming son of the Emerald Isle.

"My name is Barack Obama of the Moneygall Obamas," the US president told a 20 000-strong crowd in central Dublin.

"We come to find the apostrophe we lost somewhere along the way.

"We feel very much at home here," said Obama, with his wife Michelle at his side.

"I feel even more at home after that pint I had - I feel even warmer."

He had earlier sampled a pint of Guinness in a pub in Moneygall, a village in the heart of Ireland from where his great-great-great grandfather Falmouth Kearney had left to start to a new life in the United States in 1850.

Obama hailed the Irish as a resilient people who beat the odds, as he predicted a triumphant rebirth from Ireland's devastating economic crisis.

In the raucous campaign-style rally in downtown Dublin, he drew comparisons with America's struggle to beat its downturn.

"Your best days are still ahead, our greatest triumphs in American and Ireland are still to come."

"And Ireland, if anybody ever says otherwise, if anyone ever tells you your problems are too big, are to great, think about all we have done together."

Obama told the Irish to answer naysayers with a "simple creed" - "Yes We Can" - his 2008 campaign slogan.

Obama described the Irish as "a resilient people who beat all the odds".

"Ireland, as trying as these times are, I know our futures are still as big and as bright as our children expect them to be."

However, Obama will be forced to cut short his trip to Ireland and fly to London on Monday night - a day ahead of schedule - because of fears over a cloud of ash drifting towards Britain from an Icelandic volcano.

The visit to Ireland is the first stop on Obama's week-long European tour which will also take in a state visit in Britain, a G8 summit in France and Poland.

Read more on:    michelle obama  |  barack obama  |  ireland  |  us
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