Obama 'comes home' to Ireland
US president Barack Obama took to the stage in Dublin today in front of a crowd of 25,000 claiming he was home.
"My name is Barack Obama, of the Moneygall Obamas and I've come home to find the apostrophe we lost somewhere along the way," he said.
The Stars and Stripes flew beside the Irish Tricolour above the landmark headquarters of Bank of Ireland on College Green, where the president was met by huge cheers of "Obama, Obama" - the same spot where President Bill Clinton wooed onlookers in 1995.
The president addressed the crowds from behind a specially-constructed three-sided bullet-proof glass structure.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny introduced the president, saying: "If there is anyone out there who still doubts that Ireland is a place where all things are possible ... today is your answer."
Mr Kenny said: "Today the 44th American president comes home."
Mr Obama paid tribute to late taoiseach Garret FitzGerald, who died last week as the Queen visited Ireland in the first state visit of a reigning British monarch to the Republic.
He said Ireland and America were bound by history, friendship and shared values.
"Never has a nation so small inspired so much in another," he said.
Mr Obama again drew huge cheers by speaking Irish: "Ta athas orm le bheith in Eireann (I'm happy to be in Ireland)."
He said he wished somebody had traced his Irish roots when he was a politician in Chicago, which he dubbed the Irish capital of the mid-west.
He revealed he craved a slot in the local St Patrick's Day parade, only to be given the final place ahead of the street cleaners.
"I bet those parade organisers are watching TV today and feeling kind of bad because this is a parade right here," he said.
The president visited his ancestral homeland in the Irish Midlands earlier and entertained distant relatives as they enjoyed a drink in a local bar in Moneygall.
He said: "I feel even more at home after that pint that I had. I feel even warmer."
The president praised the work involved in achieving peace in Northern Ireland.
"America will stand by you always in your pursuit of peace," he said.
"Ireland, you need to understand that you have already passed the world's highest hopes."
He added: "A dream has turned to a reality because of the work of this nation."
The president met Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness before making the speech.
In a resounding address, the president said: "This little country that inspired the biggest things - your best days are still ahead of you."
The president said the US and Ireland had a centuries-old relationship.
"And that's why I can come here today, as American president, and reaffirm these bonds of affection," he said.
After a 24-minute speech, the president went down from the stage and shook hands and chatted with well-wishers lucky enough to be at the front of the massive crowds.
- 1 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 2 How to turn off/stop 'seen by' on Facebook: Disable it to make your chats seem less passive aggressive
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 'We're not heroes, just tourists': Swedish police officers on holiday stop vicious assault on New York subway
- 5 Buckingham Palace guard who attacked passers-by in 'most most violent piece of CCTV footage' police officer had seen walks free
Top 20 misconceptions people believe are true
Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
'We're not heroes, just tourists': Swedish police officers on holiday stop vicious assault on New York subway
Nepal earthquake: More than 1,100 killed across four countries and in Mount Everest avalanche
Australian student Tommy Connolly, 23, adopts his pregnant, homeless 17-year-old cousin to give her a chance at 'a better life'
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Katie Hopkins on LBC: Listen to caller taking The Sun columnist to task over migrant comments
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
Rupert Murdoch berated Sun journalists for not doing enough to attack Ed Miliband and stop him winning the general election
£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...
Voluntary: Cancer Research UK: We’re looking for someone to support our award ...
£70000 - £90000 per annum + bonus + car allowance + benefits: Ashdown Group: H...