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Barack Obama to visit Ireland again 'in the next year or so'

Outgoing US president Barack Obama is planning a return trip to Ireland, and it is expected to be within 12 months.

Mr Obama, who visited Ireland in 2011 with his family, announced his intention to return during his last meeting with the US Ambassador to Ireland Kevin O’Malley

US President Barack Obama gestures after speaking in College Green as Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny looks on on May 23, 2011 in Dublin, Ireland
US President Barack Obama gestures after speaking in College Green as Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny looks on on May 23, 2011 in Dublin, Ireland
US President Barack Obama drinks Guinness beer as they meet with local residents at Ollie Hayes pub in Moneygall, Ireland, the ancestral homeland of his great-great-great grandfather, Monday, May 23, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
Obama in Moneygall for a swift pint and a walkabout to meet the villagers
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MAY 23: US President Barack Obama is clasped by a wellwisher in College Green on May 23, 2011 in Dublin, Ireland. U.S. President Obama is visiting Ireland for one day. Earlier he met with Irish President Mary McAleese, Taoiseach (Prime Minister) of Ireland Enda Kenny and visited his ancestral home in Moneygall, County Offaly. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MAY 23: US President Barack Obama makes a speech at College Green, on May 23, 2011 in Dublin, Ireland. U.S. President Obama is visiting Ireland for one day. Earlier he met with Irish President Mary McAleese, Taoiseach (Prime Minister) of Ireland Enda Kenny and visited his ancestral home in Moneygall, County Offaly. (Photo by Irish Government - Pool/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MAY 23: John Grimes and Edward Grimes of the band Jedward perform onstage before the appearance of US President Barack Obama in College Green on May 23, 2011 in Dublin, Ireland. U.S. President Obama is visiting Ireland for one day. Earlier he met with Irish President Mary McAleese, Taoiseach (Prime Minister) of Ireland Enda Kenny and visited his ancestral home in Moneygall, County Offaly. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MAY 23: Fionnuala Kenny (C), the Taoiseach Enda Kenny's wife, shows first lady Michelle Obama (R) an embroidered panel depicting the Norman Invasion during a tour of Farmeligh House May 23, 2011 in Dublin, Ireland. U.S. President Barack Obama is on a one-day visit to Ireland, where will meet with distant relatives in Moneygall and then speak at a rally in central Dublin after a concert. (Photo by Irish Government-Pool /Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama meet members of the public in College Green, Dublin
US President Barack Obama gives a speech in College Green, Dublin, during his visit to Ireland at the start of a week-long tour of Europe. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday May 23, 2011. See PA story IRISH Obama. Photo credit should read: Paul Faith/PA Wire
US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama meet members of the public in College Green, Dublin, during their visit to Ireland at the start of a week-long tour of Europe. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday May 23, 2011. See PA story IRISH Obama. Photo credit should read: Paul Faith/PA Wire
U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama take the stage before President Obama speaks at College Green in Dublin, Ireland, Monday, May 23, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at College Green in Dublin, Ireland, Monday, May 23, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
MONEYGALL, IRELAND - MAY 23: U.S. President Barack Obama greets the locals in his ancestral home of Moneygall alongside First Lady Michelle Obama (L) on May 23, 2011 in Moneygall, Ireland. U.S. President Obama is visiting Ireland for one day at the start of a week long tour of Europe. He will meet with distant relatives in Moneygall and speak at a rally in central Dublin after a concert. (Photo by Irish Government - Pool/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MAY 23: US President Barack Obama speaks at a rally in College Green on May 23, 2011 in Dublin, Ireland. U.S. President Obama is visiting Ireland for one day. Earlier he met with Irish President Mary McAleese, Taoiseach (Prime Minister) of Ireland Enda Kenny and visited his ancestral home in Moneygall, County Offaly. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
US President Barrack Obama and his wife Michelle arrive at Dublin Airport on at the start of his visit to Ireland, with Dan Rooney (centre), Patricia Rooney (2nd left), and Eamonn Gilmore (3rd right). PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday May 23, 2011. See PA story IRISH Obama. Photo credit should read: Julien Behal/PA Wire
US President Barack Obama,walks with Irish President Mary McAleese, followed by her husband Dr Martin McAleese and First Lady Michelle Obama (both hidden) at Aras an Uachtarain, Phoenix Park, prior to a tree planting ceremony, during President Obama's visit to Ireland. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday May 23, 2011. See PA story IRISH Obama. Photo credit should read: Paul Faith/PA Wire
US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle in Moneygall, County Offaly, during his visit to Ireland. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday May 23, 2011. See PA story IRISH Obama. Photo credit should read: Maxwells/PA Wire
US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle greet well wishers in Moneygall, County Offaly, during his visit to Ireland. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday May 23, 2011. See PA story IRISH Obama. Photo credit should read: Maxwells/PA Wire
US First Lady Michelle Obama greets well wishers in Moneygall, County Offaly, during his visit to Ireland. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday May 23, 2011. See PA story IRISH Obama. Photo credit should read: Maxwells/PA Wire
US President Barack Obama greets well wishers in Moneygall, County Offaly, during his visit to Ireland. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday May 23, 2011. See PA story IRISH Obama. Photo credit should read: Maxwells/PA Wire
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MAY 23: Fionnuala Kenny (L), the Taoiseach Enda Kenny's wife, and lady Michelle Obama walk in the garden at Farmeligh May 23, 2011 in Dublin, Ireland. U.S. President Barack Obama is on a one-day visit to Ireland, where will meet with distant relatives in Moneygall and then speak at a rally in central Dublin after a concert. (Photo by Irish Government-Pool /Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MAY 23: Fionnuala Kenny (L), the Taoiseach Enda Kenny's wife, and lady Michelle Obama walk in the garden at Farmeligh May 23, 2011 in Dublin, Ireland. U.S. President Barack Obama is on a one-day visit to Ireland, where will meet with distant relatives in Moneygall and then speak at a rally in central Dublin after a concert. (Photo by Irish Government-Pool /Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MAY 23: Fionnuala Kenny (L), the Taoiseach Enda Kenny's wife, and lady Michelle Obama walk in the garden at Farmeligh May 23, 2011 in Dublin, Ireland. U.S. President Barack Obama is on a one-day visit to Ireland, where will meet with distant relatives in Moneygall and then speak at a rally in central Dublin after a concert. (Photo by Irish Government-Pool /Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MAY 23: Fionnuala Kenny (C), the Taoiseach Enda Kenny's wife, shows first lady Michelle Obama (R) an embroidered panel depicting the Norman Invasion during a tour of Farmeligh House May 23, 2011 in Dublin, Ireland. U.S. President Barack Obama is on a one-day visit to Ireland, where will meet with distant relatives in Moneygall and then speak at a rally in central Dublin after a concert. (Photo by Irish Government-Pool /Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MAY 23: Fionnuala Kenny (R), the Taoiseach Enda Kenny's wife, shows first lady Michelle Obama a copy of topographia Hibernia from the Benjamin Iveagh Library during a tour of Farmeligh House May 23, 2011 in Dublin, Ireland. U.S. President Barack Obama is on a one-day visit to Ireland, where will meet with distant relatives in Moneygall and then speak at a rally in central Dublin after a concert. (Photo by Irish Government-Pool /Getty Images)
MONEYGALL, IRELAND - MAY 23: U.S. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet the locals in his ancestral home of Moneygall alongside First Lady Michelle Obama (L) on May 23, 2011 in Moneygall, Ireland. U.S. President Obama is visiting Ireland for one day at the start of a week long tour of Europe. He will meet with distant relatives in Moneygall and speak at a rally in central Dublin after a concert. (Photo by Irish Government - Pool/Getty Images)
MONEYGALL, IRELAND - MAY 23: U.S. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet the locals in his ancestral home of Moneygall alongside First Lady Michelle Obama (L) on May 23, 2011 in Moneygall, Ireland. U.S. President Obama is visiting Ireland for one day at the start of a week long tour of Europe. He will meet with distant relatives in Moneygall and speak at a rally in central Dublin after a concert. (Photo by Irish Government - Pool/Getty Images)
MONEYGALL, IRELAND - MAY 23: U.S. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet the locals in his ancestral home of Moneygall alongside First Lady Michelle Obama (L) on May 23, 2011 in Moneygall, Ireland. U.S. President Obama is visiting Ireland for one day at the start of a week long tour of Europe. He will meet with distant relatives in Moneygall and speak at a rally in central Dublin after a concert. (Photo by Irish Government - Pool/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama is presented with a hurley from Taoiseach Enda Kenny in Farmleigh, Dublin
US President Barack Obama's visit to Ireland, May 2011
US President Barack Obama with Taoiseach Enda Kenny in Farmleigh, Dublin, where the two held talks.
First Lady Michelle Obama, Dr Martin McAleese, US President Barack Obama and Irish President Mary McAleese, meet school children, Onyedita Ukachukwu 8, Colm Dunne 9 and Margaret McDonagh 10, at Aras an Uachtarain, Phoenix Park, following a tree planting ceremony, during President Obama's visit to Ireland.
US President Barack Obama is greeted by Irish President Mary McAleese, at Aras an Uachtarain during President Obama's visit to Ireland.
US President Barack Obama with Irish President Mary McAleese walking in the Francini corridor at Aras an Uachtarain during President Obama's visit to Ireland.
US President Barack Obama with Dr Martin McAleese at Aras an Uachtarain during President Obama's visit to Ireland.
US President Barack Obama,(centre) walks with Irish President Mary McAleese, followed by her husband Dr Martin McAleese and First Lady Michelle Obama, at Aras an Uachtarain, Phoenix Park, Dublin
US President Barack Obama, Irish President Mary McAleese, her husband Dr Martin McAleese, and First Lady Michelle Obama, at Aras an Uachtarain during President Obama's visit to Ireland.
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama's signatures in the visitors book at Aras an Uachtarain Phoenix Park in Dublin, during the President's visit to Ireland.
President of Ireland Mary McAleese, US President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr Martin McAleese, at Aras an Uachtarain as President Obama and Michelle Obama sign the visitors book during the President's visit to Ireland.
President of Ireland Mary McAleese, US President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr Martin McAleese, at Aras an Uachtarain as President Obama and Michelle Obama sign the visitors book during the President's visit to Ireland.
President Barack Obama, left, holds and swings a hurling stick as Ireland's Taoiseach Enda Kenny looks on.
US President Barack Obama's visit to Ireland, May 2011
US President Barack Obama's visit to Ireland, May 2011
A US military helicopter manoeuvres at Dublin airport ahead of the arrival of US President Barack Obama.
A member of the President's entourage is seen at Dublin airport ahead of the arrival of US President Barack Obama.
Two US Marines are seen at Dublin airport ahead of the arrival of US President Barack Obama.
Two US Marines are seen at Dublin airport ahead of the arrival of US President Barack Obama.
The President of the United States and his First Lady
Barack Hussein Obama
Stephanie Casillas takes a picture of Maya Landry, 3, in a John McCain mask and Alex Vincelette, 3, in an Obama mask while their preschool class visits the Arroyo Vista Park polling place in Moorpark, Calif., Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008. (AP Photo/The Ventura County Star, James Glover II)
President-elect Barack Obama, left, his wife Michelle Obama, right, and two daughters, Malia, and Sasha, center left, wave to the crowd at the election night rally in Chicago, Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
President-elect Barack Obama kisses wife, Michelle, after his acceptance speech at his election night party at Grant Park in Chicago, Tuesday night, Nov. 4, 2008. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., addresses supporters at a rally in Manassas, Va., Monday, Nov. 3, 2008. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
*** CORRECTS NAME OF PHOTOGRAPHER *** University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign students celebrate on the Alma Mater after Obama was announced the president-elect early Wednesday morning, Nov. 5, 2008 in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/The Daily Illini - Ramzi Dreessen)
Supporters of President-elect Barack Obama cheer in the streets in downtown Chicago on Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008. (AP Photo/Stacie Freudnberg)
Dennis Caudill, of Crown Point, Indiana, places a sign supporting Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and vice presidential candidate and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin on the mantle at the home of Palin friends Brad and Kristan Cole, Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008, in Wasilla, Alaska. Caudill was part of a group of McCain supporters and friends from across the country gathered to watch election returns in Wasilla. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., right, is joined by Gov. Sarah Palin, R-Alaska, during a rally with supporters on election night in Phoenix, Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Joan Crecca kisses a life size cutout of presidential candidate John McCain at the Republican election party in Bellevue, Wash on Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008. Crecca's husband Joe was a POW in Viet Nam at the same time as McCain. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)
US President Barack Obama boards Air Force One as he departs in Dublin, Ireland, early due to concerns about the volcanic ash from Iceland, Monday, May 23, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

“The last sentence that the president said to me on Wednesday of this week when we were saying goodbye was ‘please tell ‘em I’m coming’,” Mr O’Malley told Marian Finucane on RTE Radio.

“So I think that’s the President’s way of saying informally that you’ll probably see him again.

The ambassador predicted that Mr Obama would visit Ireland in the near future.

“My guess is in the coming year or so,” he said.

Mr Obama will officially step down from his post towards the end of this month, to be replaced by Donald Trump.

During his 2011 visit Mr Obama and the First Lady, Michelle, visited Moneygall in Co Offaly, his ancestral home, and also appeared before huge crowds at College Green in Dublin.

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