President Barack Obama’s children can dip into the myths and legends of their father’s birthplace thanks to a gift from Taoiseach Enda Kenny.
If the stress of the job gets too much, the President suggested he could keep his opponents in Washington in line with a hurley.
Holding the present like a baseball bat, Mr Obama said: “If members of Congress aren’t behaving, give ’em a little paddle, a little hurl.”
The hurley, and the three-set volume of fairytales by Padraic Colum for Mr Obama’s daughters, Malia and Sasha, were presented by the Taoiseach when the two leaders met in Dublin.
The irony of coming to his ancestral homeland Ireland to be presented with writings of his birthplace was not lost on the President.
“It just confirms if you need someone to do good writing, you hire an Irishman,” Mr Obama joked.
The press pool, which included several dozen Irish journalists, roared its approval.
Mr Colum was commissioned by the Hawaiian legislature to trace the myths and legends of the Pacific Ocean islands and write them as children’s stories.
The President was presented with the collection after meeting Mr Kenny at the Farmleigh estate in Dublin.
Mr Kenny said: “He produced three volumes of children’s stories, which I presented, and I had the honour of a first edition, not to the President, not to the First Lady, but to his children, Malia and Sasha, stories of their daddy’s birthplace.”
Earlier, Mr Kenny joked that Mr Obama would have to come back to Ireland on another occasion to enjoy one of his sporting loves.
“Like all politicians, we have some unfinished business: and that is that the next time he comes back, he’s going to bring his golf clubs,” Mr Kenny said.