May 22nd, 2011
08:52 PM ET

Obama's Irish roots

By CNN’s Shawna Shepherd and Brianna Keilar

DUBLIN, Ireland (CNN) - The tiny Irish village of Moneygall has been thrust into the spotlight after genealogists revealed Barack Obama has roots there. Residents are literally rolling out the red carpet – and O’Bama t-shirts – for the U.S. president’s visit Monday.

Moneygall, population 300, will be one of his first stops on a six-day, four-country tour through Europe.

Henry Healy, one of Moneygall's many residents claiming to be a distant relative of America’s first African-American president, is hoping to hoist a beer with their favorite son.

“We knew that the president had interest in his Irish roots,” Healy tells CNN. “He expressed while he was seeking the Democratic nomination that he did want to visit the little village in Ireland and have a pint.” FULL POST

Topics: Ireland • President Obama • Uncategorized
May 22nd, 2011
08:40 PM ET

Putting Moneygall, Ireland on the map

**This story was originally published on March 17, 2011**

WASHINGTON (CNN) – When President Barack Obama told Ireland’s Prime Minister Enda Kenny Thursday that he would visit the nation during his upcoming trip to Europe, all eyes turned toward one tiny village in central Ireland.

“I’m expecting to go not only to all the famous sites, but also to go to Moneygall, where my great-great-great-great-great grandfather hails from,” Obama said in his Oval Office meeting with the new Taoiseach.

Moneygall has a population of less than 300 people, according to Wikipedia, and consists of “a Roman Catholic church, five shops, a post office, a national school, a [police] station, and two pubs."

Before Obama put it on the map, a racehorse named Papillon was the most famous export of Moneygall. Or as this Irish news website described the village:

There is no filling station or visitor accommodation in Moneygall. Normally, the main activity is the passing traffic on the dusty N7 road between Dublin and Limerick which bisects the village. However, a bypass expected to be completed in 2010 will take even that away.

This was, of course, before Obama first learned of his Irish heritage prior to the 2008 campaign.

Topics: Ireland • President Obama
Obama rejects controversy over his stance on Middle East peace talks
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 22: U.S. President Barack Obama arrives to speak to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) on May 22, 2011 in Washington, DC. President Obama spoke to AIPAC reaffirming U.S. support for Israel and calling for Israelis and Palestinians to seek a two-state solution. (Photo by Joshua Roberts/Getty Images)
May 22nd, 2011
05:02 PM ET

Obama rejects controversy over his stance on Middle East peace talks

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama said Sunday that any controversy over his remarks last week that Israel-Palestinian negotiations should start from pre-1967 borders and include land swaps was "not based in substance."

In his first speech as president to the main American-Israeli advocacy group, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), Obama sought to reassure the vital U.S. Jewish lobby of  his administration's commitment to Israel's security while also making clear his desire to kick-start the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks at a time when the entire Middle East landscape is changing amid the so-called Arab Spring demonstrations.

Topics: Middle East • President Obama • The News