One year on, Obama's ancestral home opens


A year has passed since US president Barack Obama’s historic visit to Moneygall and the rural Co Offaly village has lost none of its allure and charm.

Moneygall marked the one- year anniversary by officially opening the president’s ancestral home on the Main Street yesterday.

The ceremony was conducted by director of communications at the US embassy, Karen Posner- Mullen, who thanked residents for their “great friendship”.

Canon Stephen Neill told Ms Posner-Mullen the people of Moneygall were very proud to welcome the delegation from the US embassy.

The event was attended by pupils from 10 primary schools, who toured the house, took part in an Obama poster competition and watched The Road to Moneygall in a mobile cinema.

Mr Obama’s eighth cousin Henry Healy said: “It’s been a rollercoaster of a year for Moneygall and for me. To be able to put the final piece of the jigsaw together by opening the ancestral home and letting the people into the final place where the president visited is quite significant; it gives people the full experience of the visit.”

Moneygall’s residents have embraced their new fame. Public interest in the village has not waned over the course of the year, according to local publican Ollie Hayes.

“What a year,” he said. “It’s been an extraordinary year and we’ve had lots of people calling from all over the world. They just love the story and want to see where the president spent his time.”