Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Pub meal rounds off whirlwind tour

US First Lady Michelle Obama has visited the Wicklow Mountains National Park with her daughters Malia (centre) and Sasha

The wife of the world's most powerful man is sitting across the table eating fish and chips at your local - the stuff of dreams for most mere mortals, but for U2 frontman and self-styled anti-poverty campaigner Bono it was just another lunch at the top table.

Bono had invited First Lady Michelle Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha to his local pub, Finnegan's in Dalkey, the exclusive south Dublin seaside town.

And President Barack Obama's leading ladies eased their way into the supposed secret gathering.

Bono had arrived with wife Ali Hewson and remarked at the hundreds of onlookers: "I thought this was supposed to be secret."

"We talked about everything and nothing," the rock star said. "It was a family lunch."

The Obamas looked like a regular American family holidaying in Ireland as they wrapped up their visit with a traditional pub lunch.

Hundreds of locals had crammed the narrow streets outside Finnegan's on Sorrento Road, hoping to catch a glimpse of the girls.

The First Lady had lobster to start and they all dined on fish and chips, with cookies and tea for dessert, with around 60 guests.

The lunch appeared so relaxed that Donal Finnegan, one of the owners of the family run pub, was unfazed. "They were in holiday mode, just like any other family we get in here," Mr Finnegan said.

Then again the pub is no stranger to A-listers, with Brad Pitt, Penelope Cruz and Mel Gibson among the big names to call in. Mr Finnegan said Mrs Obama was "delightful", and the girls "quiet and well mannered".