Obama charms villagers while seeking his roots in Ireland

US president visits Irish village of Moneygall where he claims ancestral roots, meets distant relative and drinks the local Guinness.

By REUTERS
May 24, 2011 12:01
US President Barack Obama

US President Barack Obama 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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The 8th cousin of Barack Obama has become a bit of a local hero in the Irish village of Moneygall.

Henry Healy's a very distant relative but the obvious choice to show the president of the United States around the home of his ancestors.

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"It sort of feels surreal because for me it was like walking in a movie or something, you know, the star was there beside me. But yes, it definitely feels real, it definitely does. I pressed the flesh today and it was a marvelous occasion," Healy said.

It might have been Obama's easy manner and chatty approach that charmed the villagers, or it might have been his easy downing of a pint of Guinness ale in the local bar.

Either way he took the residents of Moneygall by storm.

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