President Barack Obama to Announce a Trip to the Emerald Isle

The Irish media is reporting that President Obama will officially announce a visit to the Emerald Isle while meeting with Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Brian Cowen at the annual St. Patrick's Day meeting at the White House on March 17.

The Irish Star has reported in its lead story that the visit will definitely go ahead for three days at the beginning of June, while The Evening Herald also reported that an announcement of a trip is imminent.

More from Irish Central

The schedule would see Air Force One landing in Dublin, where the President would address the Irish parliament before heading to Belfast.

He would also pay a short visit to the rural village of Moneygall, where his great-great-great grandfather Fulmoth Kearney emigrated from in 1850.

Though the Department of Foreign Affairs said they have not received any notice of a visit from the U.S. President, a spokesperson there said a visit later this year was a possibility.

More from Irish Central

"There is an open invitation," he said

Officials from the U.S. Embassy have visited Moneygall on three occasions, dating back to February 2009, and it is believed that draft plan for the visit has been prepared.

U.S. Ambassador to Ireland Dan Rooney also spent about an hour in the village last December.

Taoiseach Brian Cowen will travel to Washington next week for a one-to-one meeting with the President.

More from Irish Central

Henry Healy from Moneygall, who flew to Washington to witness his long-distant relative being inaugurated last year, said, "It won't take us long to get ready. The bunting would be up. He said 'a draft plan was sketched back in September' when the U.S. Embassy press officer visited the village.

"We did hold a meeting with them to decide what he would do, who he would meet and that sort of thing, if a visit were to happen," said Healy.

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