Foreign Minister Eamon Gilmore has announced that United States President Barack Obama and Queen Elizabeth II will visit Ireland within the same week in May.
Gilmore, who was meeting with United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington on Friday, said Obama will arrive in Ireland within 24 to 48 hours after the Queen leaves.
The arrival of two of the world’s top VIPS, represents a security and logistical nightmare for the Irish authorities. It is rare that an international visitor to Ireland commands massive security, and on this occasion, there will be two within a very short space of time.
The Queen’s historic visit will take place on May 17 - 20. The Queen's visit to Ireland will tbe her first aborad after her grandson Prince William‘s marriage to Kate Middleton at Westminister Abbey.
According to radio station Newstalk 106, it is most likely that Obama will arrive in Ireland on the 22nd. Officially there has been no dates given for the President's visit, although he did tell the new Irish Leader Enda Kenny that he intended on visiting in May.
Yesterday at the traditional handing over of the bowl of shamrocks in the White House, President Obama commented on the special relationship between the Irish and Americans. He himself has roots in Ireland having recent found out that his "great, great, great, great, great grandfather," Falmouth Kearney, left Offaly for the U.S. during the Great Famine.
He said, "Every year at this time we're reminded just how many strands of green are woven into our American story... In many ways, what it means to be Irish helped define what it means to be America ... in the years ahead may our sons and daughters only grow closer."