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.



News
people
Sport
FootballGerman sparks three goals in four minutes at favourite No 10 role
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Sport
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
athletics
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
Radamel Falcao was forced to withdraw from the World Cup after undergoing surgery
premier leagueExclusive: Reds have agreement with Monaco
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Sport
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Arts and Entertainment
Gregory Porter learnt about his father’s voice at his funeral
music
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Life and Style
Children at the Leytonstone branch of the Homeless Children's Aid and Adoption Society tuck into their harvest festival gifts, in October 1936
food + drinkThe harvest festival is back, but forget cans of tuna and packets of instant mash
New Articles
i100... she's just started school
News
news
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
New Articles
i100... despite rising prices
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
voices
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Volunteer Trustee opportunities now available at The Society for Experimental Biology

Unpaid Voluntary Position : Reach Volunteering: Volunteer your expertise as Tr...

Early Years Educator

£68 - £73 per day + Competitive rates of pay based on experience: Randstad Edu...

Nursery Nurse

£69 - £73 per day + Competitive London rates of pay: Randstad Education Group:...

Primary KS1 NQTs required in Lambeth

£117 - £157 per day + Competitive London rates: Randstad Education Group: * Pr...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam