Obama public address confirmed

US PRESIDENT Barack Obama will definitely make a public address in Dublin as part of his whirlwind visit to Ireland on May 23, Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said.

Although details of the itinerary are still being finalised, Mr Kenny said Mr Obama would meet with the President in the Áras; travel to see the birthplace of an ancestor in Moneygall, Co Offaly; and speak at a public event in Dublin.

“The public address in Dublin will be part of a major entertainment event,” Mr Kenny told the Dáil yesterday.

“The programme and the venue have yet to be confirmed. Entrance will be free of charge with tickets available to the general public and it will be designed as a welcome to the president and the first lady of the US.”

An advance team from the US is expected in Dublin on Thursday, following a similar visit by an advance team to Moneygall last month.

Mr Kenny indicated that the public event would inevitably involve some disruption because of the crowds and security arrangements.

“I appreciate that people will experience some disruption as a consequence and I want to thank everyone who will be affected both for their patience and their forbearance. This is an historic opportunity to put our capital and our people on view to a potentially huge audience around the world.”

Mr Kenny said he would be discussing a “range of issues” in his own meeting with Mr Obama.

“It is likely that our discussions will cover the global economic situation and Ireland’s determination to overcome the difficulties that we face. I will be stressing that we are open for business and will emphasise the many advantages to doing business here in Ireland.”

Mr Obama will arrive in Dublin early on May 23 before flying onto Britain the following morning.


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