These three monumental venues in Dublin are top of the list for consideration for President Obama's planned public address in Dublin city on the eve of May 23rd.
Similar to former US president Bill Clinton who addressed a crowd of tens of thousands at College Green, Dublin in 1995, Obama's presence is sure to be a huge event.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny told the Dáil yesterday Obama was likely to deliver the speech as part of a 'major entertainment event' in Dublin and admission would be free. It is understood a major Irish music promoter is involved in planning the Obama event. There has been some speculation that U2, who played at Mr Obama’s inauguration in 2009, may perform, reports the Irish Times.
According to U2's website, there is no scheduled tour date for the 23rd of May, so an Irish gig date would be the first since their Irish concert in Croke Park in the summer of 2009 where they constructed the 360˚ claw stage.
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A team of US officials are due to arrive in Ireland later this week to finalise details of Mr Obama’s itinerary, which will include a meeting with President Mary McAleese at Áras an Uachtaráin, a meeting with the Taoiseach Enda Kenny, and a visit to Moneygall, Co Offaly, where one of his ancestors was born.
It will be this team of security officials that with decide the venue and agree if the public appearance will go ahead or not depending on sufficient security measures.
After all, it has been reported by the Irish Herald in 2009 that a top al-Qaeda suspect remains at large in Dublin City, despite being accused by the U.S. of 'having directed a European al-Qa'ida cell'. Ibrahim Buwisir (50) is wanted by the U.S. and has been named on a UN Security Council terror list. With President Obama’s visit to Ireland coming up authorities are said to be keeping very close tabs on him.
Originally Croke Park was to be the venue for the outdoor rally but fears that the stadium would not be filled on a Monday night along with the need for an identifiably Irish backdrop have ruled it out.
Croke Park may be ruled out but other venues, such as O’Connell Street in Dublin, College Green and a securitised military location such as Cathal Brugha Barracks are also under consideration.
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