Obama announces trip to his Irish roots amid St. Patrick's Day fanfare
President Obama and Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny in the Oval Office
March 17th, 2011
12:27 PM ET

Obama announces trip to his Irish roots amid St. Patrick's Day fanfare

WASHINGTON (CNN) - If you are looking for a robust St. Patrick’s Day celebration today, you need look no further than the nation’s capital where the visiting Irish prime minister is being feted with breakfast, lunch, dinner, and more official pageantry than you might even find in Dublin.

Clad in a light green tie, complete with shamrocks emerging from his suit pocket, President Obama welcomed Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny to the Oval Office stressing the “incredible bond” between the two countries. Beyond the customary platitudes for his guest’s leadership, the president thanked Ireland for it’s assistance with the U.S. effort in Afghanistan, it’s assistance on issues like food security and hailed the progress and stability in Northern Ireland.

In a bit of news, Obama announced he will travel to Ireland in May around his state visit to the United Kingdom. Beyond a stop to some of the more well-known sites in Ireland, Obama said he hopes to visit a site of more personal significance – with a trip "to Moneygall where my great great great great great grandfather hails from."

For his part, Kenny, who sported an even greener tie, said his country was honored to host Obama in May, and he was even looking forward to a possible round of golf with the president. Obama said he heard the prime minister’s game was pretty good so he may need to practice a bit before hitting the links with Kenny.

Following the festivities in the Oval Office, Kenny, Obama and Vice President Biden were scheduled to travel to Capitol Hill for a St. Patrick’s Day lunch at the U.S. Capitol featuring Roast Angus Beef with Wild Onion Chanterelle Compote, followed by an evening reception in the East Room of the White House. Kenny began the day with a trip to Biden’s residence at the Naval Observatory for a breakfast with guests ranging from U.S. Senators, Supreme Court justices, and cabinet secretaries.

Kenny, who was elected to his post earlier this year, is facing problems back home with high unemployment, and a tough economic environment, following the country’s near miss with bankruptcy last year. This is his first visit to Washington as prime minister and his first meeting with Obama.

Topics: President Obama • The News

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soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Michael

    It's Paddy, not Patty. Patty is a girls name in Ireland.

    March 17, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
  2. Liz Carter in Georgia

    OK Michael! Paddy, not Patty! AMERICANS must have been spelling ST 'PATRICKS' DAY wrong too then! Should it be spelled P A 'D' R I C K S instead of P A 'T' R I C K S? Correct us if you please. PADDY, not PATTY! My goodness! You all find fault in everything, since this man started running for office! I'm like another blogger; if he bends over to TIE his shoes, you folks will 'critique' and find something wrong with that! ' Oh, he bent over TOO far'! 'He didn't bend over FAR enough'! PIT-TEE-FUL!! SAD!

    March 17, 2011 at 8:27 pm |
  3. Michael

    It has nothing to do with Obama. Touchy much?? I was simply letting whoever wrote the article know. Paddy is the masculine short for Patrick. Patty is a girl's name. Nothing political meant by it. Simmer down!

    March 18, 2011 at 10:22 pm |
  4. Liz Carter in Georgia

    Ok Michael. I did ask you to 'correct us if you please', and you explained it a little more clearly. Thank you. I'm simmering down now! You don't have to respond to this though, but I've been addressing so much negativity, disrespect, and hate on this blog and others against PRES OBAMA, these last really, 4 years, that I maybe sometimes, a little 'defensive'. That maybe because I've been playing 'offensive' so much! There's been so muh beration spewed in this blog and others at him, I'm always 'on the mark!

    March 19, 2011 at 9:24 am |