President Obama will stay overnight in Ireland on May 23rd Irishcentral.com has learned.
The president’s trip has now been extended after major concern from Irish American leaders that the initial proposed visit, which was only a little over five hours, was too short .
Opinion polls in both Ireland and the U.S. showed large numbers believing such a short stay would be little better than a photo op and would not go down well.
A major planning meeting this week took input from a large number of leading Irish Americans after which a firm decision was made to have an overnight at the residence of the U.S. Ambassador Dan Rooney in Dublin’s Phoenix Park.
Other details of the visit have yet to be decided upon with Ambassador Rooney playing a critical role in deciding what the president’s final schedule will be.
This week a party of 30 U.S. officials descended on Obama's ancestral home, of Moneygall, County Offaly in preparation for the visit. In 1850 Obama's distant relative Fulmuth Kearney left Ireland and traveled to New York before eventually settling in Ohio.
Since St. Patrick's Day, when it was confirmed that President Obama would visit there has been huge speculation about where in Ireland he will go. Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney said he was confident that President Obama would visit the west of Ireland, most likely Mayo where Prime Minister Enda Kenny hails from.
Speaking onIrish radio he said "I certainly think that the US President will come to the west," Coveney said…I think…for a lot of people coming to Ireland means coming to the west."