The world can now see how Ireland took to President Barack Obama and vice-versa – thanks to a new White House initiative.
A series of behind the scenes photographs from President Obama’s visit to his ancestral homeland in May have just been made public.
The shots for the President’s official scrapbook were compiled by his personal photographer Pete Souza.
They feature photos of everything from First Lady Michelle learning how to pull the perfect pint at Hayes’ Bar in Moneygall to the President putting a comforting arm around an aide after she injured a wrist in a fall.
Official snapper Souza personally commented on the warm welcome afforded to the President and his wife when he uploaded his photographs from their European tour.
“I included several from Ireland to show how enthusiastically the people reacted to the president and first lady,” wrote Souza.
Photos now available to the public also include shots of President Obama in Ollie Hayes’s pub in Moneygall as well as prints of their arrival by helicopter at the local gaelic football grounds.
The President is also pictured having a private meeting with President Mary McAleese at her official residence in Dublin’s Phoenix Park.
New shots also show the President offering a consoling hug to Elizabeth Sherwood Randall, his senior director for European Affairs, after she was blown over by heavy winds and injured her left wrist in a fall.
The abnormal heavy winds and the threat of ash cloud disruptions to flights curtailed the President’s visit to Ireland.
Souza’s photos also highlight the moment when Michelle Obama’s hair was blown around upon her arrival at Dublin Airport.
Asked later that day in Ollie Hayes’ pub if she was feeling the wind and the cold, the First Lady replied: “No, all I feel is the love.”