A newborn baby whose pacifier was recovered by President Obama during his recent visit to his ancestral home of Moneygall, Co. Offaly is to be named after the president.
Six-week old Jamie Nolan from Wilton, Co. Cork, will have “Barack” added as his third name when he is christened in the coming weeks.
The newborn’s father Brian, originally from the now famous Offaly village, was adamant that his only son would not miss the big occasion, and says there was “never even a doubt” Jamie would be left at home.
After lining up from 11 a.m. on Monday, May 23, with his fiancé and young son, Nolan was delighted to finally catch a glimpse of Obama as he emerged from Ollie Hayes’s bar.
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Moneygall emigrant thrilled by Obama's visit to native village
“He had that big famous smile of his. I was holding Jamie and I suppose I held him up and he looked straight at him and said, ‘Look at this guy, he is fairly new,’ and he took him with his two big hands,” Nolan told the Irish Voice.
“You would know he was a father and that he has had his own children. He asked me, ‘How old is she?’ and I had to correct him and tell him he was a boy.”
As Obama passed the newborn back into the hands of his father, the baby’s pacifier fell onto the ground, but the president acted quickly to recover it.
“Like a flash he dived down to the ground to retrieve it,” recalls Nolan. “He told me to make sure I clean it and then shook my hand and moved on.”
Luckily Jamie’s mother Caroline was standing close by and managed to capture it all on video camera.
“You can be assured he will be the only James John Barack,” laughed the father.
Jamie is still using the pacifier now, and his dad admitted they had borrowed it off Jamie’s three-month old cousin Enda, as they had forgot to pack their own.
The Offaly native, who operates the Cuppa Cafe on Union Quay in Cork, said he had never seen the likes of the Obama activity before in his hometown of Moneygall.
“It was like Christmas when you were a child and waiting for Santa, you knew when he was coming and the day he was coming but you were counting the sleeps,” says Nolan.
“It was a family reunion for everybody in the village. There were people we hadn’t seen for 15 years, home from America and England. Everyone had someone home.
“It was like being at a funeral where no-one died,” he concluded.