Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 21 April 2015

US officials concede Obama ancestral links to other areas of Ireland

US president Barack Obama
US president Barack Obama

US President Barack Obama's ancestral ties extend beyond Moneygall in Co Offaly, White House officials admitted last night.

In a tug-of-war over the president's origins, Shinrone on the Offaly-Tipperary border is laying claim to earlier ties with the American president than Moneygall can boast.

Although careful to avoid giving credence to the claims from the neighbouring village -- 10 miles from Moneygall -- that Mr Obama hails from there, Mr Obama's staff said they were "aware" of the dispute.

Ahead of the president's visit to Moneygall, Mr Obama's officials were "very excited to see this small town in Ireland from which he has roots".

White House Deputy Assistant to the President Ben Rhodes said officials had decided he did have "direct links" with Moneygall.

But he said this was not the only place that could possibly claim Mr Obama as its own.

"We believe the president likely has bloodlines that extend beyond Moneygall into other communities," he said.

"Rather than wade into a hot debate, we think he has ties that extend to other places," he added.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz