Obamas are Bono’s surprise guests

- Tuesday, June 18, 2013

She’s married to the most powerful man in the world and is used to eating haute cuisine with heads of state.

Today, however, Michelle Obama will trade silver service for pub grub when she visits one of Dublin’s most famous hostelries. The US first lady is being treated to lunch by U2’s Bono at his local pub, Finnegan’s of Dalkey.

The family bar, which has hosted luminaries as disparate as author Salman Rushdie and actress Pamela Anderson, was preparing to go into lockdown last night.

Crash barriers were erected outside at 7pm as curious locals took their evening stroll through the village.

According to one local, preparations for the lunch have been in train for months.

"They didn’t know until a few days ago that the visit was actually on," said the witness.

"They had all the secret service men in vetting the place but hadn’t been given a date.

"They did a full recce of the pub, down to looking at plans of the building. It was all very Jason Bourne."

The pub is no stranger to spy-like activity. Three months ago, Pearse Brosnan shot an ad for Sky TV in the pub, drawing huge crowds.

Mrs Obama and her daughters, Malia, 14, and Sasha, 12, stayed in the Shelbourne Hotel on Dublin’s St Stephen’s Green, and will visit Glendalough today before lunch at Finnegan’s.

They will attend with a party of 60 people and can choose from a menu of cottage pie, salmon, smoked bacon and cabbage, or chicken and ham stuffed with mozzarella.

They will depart for Berlin this evening.

Mrs Obama is the highest-profile visitor that Bono has treated to lunch in the pub to date. On Sunday, he was seen sipping pints with rock legend Neil Young.

Other world-famous celebrities who have dined on Paul Finnegan’s famous cottage pie include Penélope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Mel Gibson, Brad Pitt, Neil Jordan, and dozens of TV stars and musicians.