Belfast Telegraph

Youngsters dazzled by First Lady

A youngster was rendered speechless as Michelle Obama affectionately greeted him and classmates backstage at a special performance of the dance spectacular Riverdance.

Rebecca Morgan, aged 11 and a fifth class pupil in Moneygall National School in Co Offaly - President Barack Obama's ancestral homeland - revealed one of her classmates was dumbstruck with shyness.

The young lad, named only as Billy, could not bring himself to speak even though he thinks the First Lady is beautiful.

Rebecca said: "She is so beautiful and very tall. She looks even prettier in real life than on TV.

"A boy in my class was really embarrassed when she touched Billy's hand because he thinks she is so beautiful. He was so shy."

The youngsters were among scores invited to the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin where Mrs Obama and her daughters Malia and Sasha became some of the 22 million people around the world to have seen the Riverdance phenomenon live.

Mrs Obama followed up the backstage chat when she took her seat in the front row when, flanked by her daughters, she leaned in to talk to children as they waited for the performance to start.

Moments before she revealed Malia and Sasha's amazement during their visit to Trinity College. "I don't know if many of you have been there, it's like Hogwarts, as Sasha pointed out," she told the audience.

Mrs Obama was introduced by Fionnuala Kenny, wife of Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny, who himself admitted that he cries every time he watches Riverdance. In 2011, he described it as ancient dance translated into a phenomenal and powerful message.

President Michael D Higgins' wife Sabina also attended the performance.

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