The small Irish village of Moneygall is to cash in on its links to US President Barack Obama again – and open his ‘ancestral’ home to public.
The house where President Obama declared ‘my ancestors lived here’ is to open to visitors in time for the summer tourist season.
The US leader and his wife Michelle visited the site last year where the President’s third great-grandfather Fulmouth Kearney, was reared in the County Offaly backwater.
Now the Moneygall Development Association has leased the house from owner John Donovan, a local shopkeeper, in a bid to boost the village’s tourism industry.
Donovan told the Irish Independent: “We’re delighted that the house will soon be open. The house was an integral part of the visit so it’s important that people can see it when they visit Moneygall.”
John and Clodagh Donovan met the Obamas when they visited Ireland and Moneygall last May.
“Myself, Clodagh and our children Rachel and Philip, were inside the room when he stamped on the floor and said: ‘This is where my ancestors lived’, we were there for that,” added Donovan.
“It seemed to have struck a chord with Mr Obama when I said it to him that he was standing on the very floor where his ancestors once stood.”
Obama’s Moneygall cousin Henry Healy, who recently enjoyed a Washington pint of Guinness with the President, has also welcomed the decision to open the house.
“In the next week or two, we will be opening the house to the public,” Healy told the paper.