THE DAY I MET PRESIDENT AND MICHELLE OBAMA

By Emmet Carey – 3rd Year

It was announced on St. Patricks Day that the 44th President of the United States of America, Barak Obama and his wife, Michelle would visit Ireland and return to his ancestral home in Moneygall, Co. Offaly.

The first black President of the U.S.A arrived in Dublin Airport at 8:30am. on Monday, May 23rd where he went straight to Aras an Uachtarain to meet President McAleese.

All employees of United States government and their families were invited to the American Embassy in Dublin for a private speech by President Obama. My mum works for the State Department so, we were very excited when we received our invitations.

About 80 people attended the reception in the Embassy. At 11:30am the security sweep of the Embassy was complete and we were allowed to enter. Fortunately for us we were the first group let in.

The Embassy is a rotunda-shaped building with a circular floor at the centre. The podium from which President Obama was to speak from was close to the far pillar. There was a barrier covered in American flags a metre away from the podium. We were once again struck with good fortune as we were directly in front of the podium. It was not long now until Dan Rooney, the American ambassador to Ireland and an iconic United States senator, arrived and made an opening speech for Barrack Obama, his achievements, his personality, and his amazing leadership in difficult times.

The secret service mobilised into position as Barrack and Michelle Obama walked calmly yet excitedly into the room. President Obama made a speech about the hard working American employees who bring business and employment into the country of America. After President Obama’s moving speech he walked to the front row and shook everyone’s hand, including mine. He told me that I was very well dressed. (I was in my Glenstal formals!!!) and asked me and everyone else basic questions about ourselves. He paid us all personal compliments.

Michelle also went around in a similar way. She told me that I was well-spoken and that I looked more than fit to meet a President. She chatted to all of us in the front row. Pictures were taken and hands were shaken. Finally President and Michelle Obama departed for Moneygall.

It was an opportunity of a lifetime to meet President and Michelle Obama and a day I will never forget as long as I live.