Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 28 December 2014

Michelle Obama visits national park

Michelle Obama rounds off the family's whistle-stop trip to Ireland with a visit to one of the country's famous national parks.

The First Lady of the US and daughters Malia and Sasha will travel to the Wicklow mountains and visit Glendalough - the valley of two lakes.

A private tour of the ancient monastic site was planned for the family with walks, trails and paths in the area closed to the public.

The valley, in the heart of the Wicklow Mountains National Park, offers some of the most popular rural landscapes in Ireland and is a well-worn tourist path for visitors to the east coast.

Glendalough is also home to one of the most important monastic sites in Ireland, founded by St Kevin in the sixth century.

The Obamas will travel the one hour from Dublin after staying in the Shelbourne Hotel in the city centre.

A huge security operation was in place in the capital for the 24-hour visit with parts of St Stephen's Green and Kildare Street, where the Leinster House parliament is located, closed to through traffic.

Mrs Obama enjoyed dinner on Monday night in Matt the Thresher restaurant in Dublin.

It is understood the family will also enjoy a lunch in the exclusive Dalkey area before heading north to meet President Barack Obama and travel on to Germany for the latest leg of his European meetings.

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