Today American President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle will spend the day in Ireland! President Obama is the sixth serving American President to visit Ireland. We’re delighted to see the President follow so many other American’s who come to Ireland to trace their Irish roots.
As part of his trip to Ireland he will visit his ancestral home in Monaygall, Co. Offaly.
President Obama’s Irish roots can be traced back to Falmouth Kearney (1830-1878) who emigrated from Ireland on the S.S. Marmion in 1850. Mr Kearney was part of the great American migration to escape the potato famine in Ireland.
Obama joins a number of other American Presidents with Irish connections. Ronald Reagan’s great-grandfather, Michael O’Reagan, was born in Ireland in the 1820s. John F Kennedy’s great-grandfather Patrick Kennedy came from Dunganstown, Co Wexford, while Bill Clinton’s maternal ancestors are said to have come from Co Fermanagh.
I’m sure President Obama would be interested to know that the Kearney family crest is represented by the rampant lion. In Ireland the lion on a family crest symbolises a great chief. Very fitting for the President!