First impressions: President Barack Obama's first hours in Ireland

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It was a fine soft day when Barack Obama arrived, in fact it was pouring rain with 80 mile an hour winds. However, 20 minutes after he stepped off air force one, miraculously, the sun appeared and the rain stopped. So now it's a nice fresh day in Ireland which means that the wind is blowing at about 80 miles an hour destroying the first lady's hair-do and President Mary McAleese's as well.

Dublin City is under traffic lock-down and getting around is harder than in Fort Knox.

One of the funniest moments of the day was provided by Moneygall parish priest, Father Patrick Kennedy, when he was asked on "The Pat Kenny Show" to give his opinion on what the atmosphere was like in Moneygall he told Kenny "I'm sorry Pat but I've been locked up in my own house since 10 o'clock this morning because of the Secret Service and I can't get out and neither can anyone else."

The excitement over the visit is spilling over into Dublin where thousands of what look like very young people is lining up for the concert and President's speech. A lot of them have American flags but just as many appear to have Jedward t-shirts which makes me wonder are they coming to see Jedward or the President.

The trip so far has been pretty uneventful Obama's remarks after meeting Prime Minister Kenny were bland and the highlight in fact was when Prime Minister Kenny handed Obama a hurling stick which the President grasped very expertly and threatened to use it on his political opponents.

As I write this the President's helicopter is departing to Moneygall, what promises to be the most exciting part of the trip. Fears that he would have to go by road have been replaced with a sense of anticipation in Moneygall which is the real news story from this day with the American media making it clear it is the highlight of the whole visit not just the Irish leg. As one reporter said "A black man looking for his Irish roots is a Hollywood story much more interesting than a G 20 summit of talking heads."

PHOTOS - President Obama's trip to Ireland - photo gallery

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