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Saturday, December 24, 2011

President and Mrs. Obama Send Christmas Greetings to America, December 25, 2011

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama offer a special holiday tribute to some of the strongest, bravest, and most resilient members of our American family – the men and women who wear our country’s uniform and the families who support them.

The theme for this 2011 holiday season is "Shine, Give, Share," which offers an opportunity to pay tribute to our troops, veterans, and their families throughout the White House.

View this Christmas Greeting from President and Mrs. Obama on December 24, 2011:

Friday, December 9, 2011

US State Department to Review J1 Summer Work Visas for Foreign Students

The Boston Globe reports that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has ordered "an extensive and thorough review" of the J1 Summer Work Travel Visa that allows students from around the world to work in the United States each summer.

The program has come under fire recently for a variety of abuses that include poor living conditions and workplace problems for many of the 150,000 students who use the visa each year.

Among the countries using the J-1 visa, according to the Globe story, are Russia, Brazil, Ukraine, Thailand, Ireland, Bulgaria, Peru, Moldova and Poland.

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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

President Obama, in Kansas, Evokes Teddy Roosevelt in Call for Economic Equality

President Barack Obama returned to his mother's state of Kansas this week and called for a new economic equality that ensures shared prosperity and responsibility in the spirit of President Theodore Roosevelt

"Roosevelt understood the free market only works when there are rules of the road that ensure competition is fair and open and honest," the president said to the audience in Osawatomie, Kansas, a place President Roosevelt visited in 1910. "And so he busted up monopolies, forcing those companies to compete for consumers with better services and better prices. And today, they still must. He fought to make sure businesses couldn’t profit by exploiting children or selling food or medicine that wasn’t safe. And today, they still can’t."

You can read the entire speech here.

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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

President Obama Meets EU Leaders Amid Euro Crisis

(Photo: Herman Van Rompuy, President Obama and Jose Manuel Barroso)

"The United States urged European Union officials to move forcefully and decisively in responding to the mounting crisis involving the euro and a potential threat to the world economy," according to a report by the US State Department.

President Barack Obama met with European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President José Manuel Barroso at the White House for an annual summit. Much of the discussion focused on the euro crisis and its potential impact on the world economy and the United States.
To read the full story by Merle David Kellerhals, Jr., click here

To view regular updates about European affairs, visit Embassy of the United States in Dublin.

Follow us on twitter: @Obama_IrishUSA

Sunday, October 9, 2011

US Ambassador Dan Rooney Convenes Jobs Conference in Dublin, Ireland

Photo, left to right: John Sweeney, President Emeritus of AFL-CIO; Richard Bruton, T.D., Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and Daniel M. Rooney, US Ambassador to Ireland.

On October 7, 2011 US Ambassador Daniel M. Rooney, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny T.D. and Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton, T.D. hosted a bilateral business conference entitled “Growing Jobs: US-Ireland Priorities and Bilateral Opportunities.”

To read Ambassador Rooney's remarks, click here.

Find out more about the US Embassy in Ireland or follow it on FaceBook.

To follow Irish Americans for Obama/Biden on Tweeter, click here.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

US Attorney General Eric Holder Visits Ireland, Praises US-Ireland Relations

On Wednesday, September 21, 2011, United States Attorney General Eric Holder was in Dublin, Ireland, addressing the Institute of International and European Affairs on “Advancing Common Priorities: Combating Crime and Ensuring Gobal Security through International Partnerships.”

Holder praised "a tradition of cooperation (between Ireland and the United States) that stretches back nearly two and a half centuries – to the time when America was little more than a grand, improbable idea."

To read the entire speech, click here.   To view a video of the speech, click here

You can find ongoing information on US-Ireland relations by visiting the US Embassy in Ireland website.

Follow IrishAmericans for ObamaBiden on Tweeter

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Remarks of Dan Rooney, US Ambassador to Ireland, on September 11, 2011

On Sunday, September 11, 2011 U.S. Ambassador to Ireland Daniel M. Rooney  and his wife Mrs. Patricia Rooney held a Ceremony of Peace and Reflection at the Royal Dublin Society Concert Hall (RDS) to mark the tenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks.

To read a full transcript of Ambassador Rooney's remarks, click here.

You can find ongoing information about Ambassador Rooney and the American diplomatic mission in Ireland by visiting 

Friday, September 9, 2011

US Embassy in Dublin to hold Ceremony of Reflection and Peace on September 11, 2011

On Sunday, September 11, 2011 at 1:00 p.m.(GMT) the U.S. Embassy in Dublin, Ireland is holding a special Ceremony of Reflection and Peace in honor of the 10th anniversary of September 11, 2011 and to remember the victims of 9/11.

Joining US Ambassador Dan Rooney at the Embassy are Ireland's President Mary McAleese and Taoiseach Enda Kenny. You can see a full schedule of activities for the day by clicking here.

For more information about the US Embassy in Ireland, click here or follow it on Facebook.

To find out more about President Barack Obama and ceremonies marking 9/11, visit the WhiteHouse.

Follow Irish Americans for Obama/Biden on Twitter.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Ethnic Communities Meet with White House Officials on Immigration Reform

Last Thursday, August 11, 2011, leaders from a variety of ethnic communities – from Irish, to Polish, to Macedonian and many others - met at the White House to discuss the way forward on immigration reform.

For details on this meeting, visit the White House Office of Public Engagement.

President Barack Obama issued his Blueprint for Building a 21st Century Immigration System, during a speech in El Paso Texas on May 10, 2011.

To have a voice in the immigration reform issue, visit the White House Roundtable on Immigration Reform.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Photos of President and Mrs. Obama in Ireland Online at US Embassy Site

The US Embassy in Dublin has great photos of the recent trip to Ireland by President Barack Obama and first Lady Michelle Obama.

To view the photos, click here.

US Ambassador to Ireland Dan Rooney welcomed the Obamas on their arrival at Dublin Airport and accompanied them to Moneygall, County Offaly.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

White House Blog Captures Spirit of President Obama's Trip to Ireland

White House blogger Jesse Lee has captured the spirit of excitement and enthusiasm that greeted President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama during their visit to Ireland on Monday, May 23, 2011.

You can read blog in its entirety.

To read President Obama's speech in Dublin at an outdoor rally attended by 60,000 people, click here.

Monday, May 23, 2011

President Obama's Speech in Dublin, Ireland, May 23, 2011

Remarks of President Obama at Irish Celebration in Dublin Ireland, Monday, May 21, 2011. For Full White House transcript, click here.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you! Hello, Dublin! Hello, Ireland! My name is Barack Obama -- of the Moneygall Obamas. And I've come home to find the apostrophe that we lost somewhere along the way.

Some wise Irish man or woman once said that broken Irish is better than clever English. So here goes: Tá áthas orm bheith in Éirinn -- I am happy to be in Ireland! I'm happy to be with so many á cairde.

I want to thank my extraordinary hosts -- first of all, Taoiseach Kenny -- -- his lovely wife, Fionnuala -- -- President McAleese and her husband, Martin -- -- for welcoming me earlier today. Thank you, Lord Mayor Gerry Breen and the Gardai for allowing me to crash this celebration.

Let me also express my condolences on the recent passing of former Taoiseach Garrett Fitzgerald -- -- someone who believed in the power of education, someone who believed in the potential of youth, most of all, someone who believed in the potential of peace and who lived to see that peace realized.

And most of all, thank you to the citizens of Dublin and the people of Ireland for the warm and generous hospitality you’ve shown me and Michelle. It certainly feels like 100,000 welcomes. We feel very much at home. I feel even more at home after that pint that I had. Feel even warmer.

In return let me offer the hearty greetings of tens of millions of Irish Americans who proudly trace their heritage to this small island. They say hello.

Now, I knew that I had some roots across the Atlantic, but until recently I could not unequivocally claim that I was one of those Irish Americans. But now if you believe the Corrigan Brothers, there’s no one more Irish than me.

So I want to thank the genealogists who traced my family tree.

It turns out that people take a lot of interest in you when you're running for President. They look into your past. They check out your place of birth. Things like that. Now, I do wish somebody had provided me all this evidence earlier because it would have come in handy back when I was first running in my hometown of Chicago -- -- because Chicago is the Irish capital of the Midwest. A city where it was once said you could stand on 79th Street and hear the brogue of every county in Ireland.

So naturally a politician like me craved a slot in the St. Patrick’s Day parade. The problem was not many people knew me or could even pronounce my name. I told them it was a Gaelic name. They didn’t believe me.

So one year a few volunteers and I did make it into the parade, but we were literally the last marchers. After two hours, finally it was our turn. And while we rode the route and we smiled and we waved, the city workers were right behind us cleaning up the garbage. It was a little depressing. But I’ll bet those parade organizers are watching TV today and feeling kind of bad ---- because this is a pretty good parade right here.

Now, of course, an American doesn’t really require Irish blood to understand that ours is a proud, enduring, centuries-old relationship; that we are bound by history and friendship and shared values. And that’s why I’ve come here today, as an American President, to reaffirm those bonds of affection.

Earlier today Michelle and I visited Moneygall where we saw my ancestral home and dropped by the local pub. And we received a very warm welcome from all the people there, including my long-lost eighth cousin, Henry. Henry now is affectionately known as Henry VIII. And it was remarkable to see the small town where a young shoemaker named Falmouth Kearney, my great-great-great grandfather, my grandfather’s grandfather, lived his early life. And I was the shown the records from the parish recording his birth. And we saw the home where he lived.

And he left during the Great Hunger, as so many Irish did, to seek a new life in the New World. He traveled by ship to New York, where he entered himself into the records as a laborer. He married an American girl from Ohio. They settled in the Midwest. They started a family.

It’s a familiar story because it’s one lived and cherished by Americans of all backgrounds. It’s integral to our national identity. It’s who we are, a nation of immigrants from all around the world.

But standing there in Moneygall, I couldn’t help but think how heartbreaking it must have been for that great-great-great grandfather of mine, and so many others, to part. To watch Donegal coasts and Dingle cliffs recede. To leave behind all they knew in hopes that something better lay over the horizon.

When people like Falmouth boarded those ships, they often did so with no family, no friends, no money, nothing to sustain their journey but faith -- faith in the Almighty; faith in the idea of America; faith that it was a place where you could be prosperous, you could be free, you could think and talk and worship as you pleased, a place where you could make it if you tried.

And as they worked and struggled and sacrificed and sometimes experienced great discrimination, to build that better life for the next generation, they passed on that faith to their children and to their children’s children -- an inheritance that their great-great-great grandchildren like me still carry with them. We call it the America Dream.

It’s the dream that Falmouth Kearney was attracted to when he went to America. It’s the dream that drew my own father to America from a small village in Africa. It’s a dream that we’ve carried forward -- sometimes through stormy waters, sometimes at great cost -- for more than two centuries. And for my own sake, I’m grateful they made those journeys because if they hadn’t you’d be listening to somebody else speak right now.

And for America’s sake, we’re grateful so many others from this land took that chance, as well. After all, never has a nation so small inspired so much in another.

Irish signatures are on our founding documents. Irish blood was spilled on our battlefields. Irish sweat built our great cities. Our spirit is eternally refreshed by Irish story and Irish song; our public life by the humor and heart and dedication of servants with names like Kennedy and Reagan, O’Neill and Moynihan. So you could say there’s always been a little green behind the red, white and blue.

When the father of our country, George Washington, needed an army, it was the fierce fighting of your sons that caused the British official to lament, “We have lost America through the Irish.” And as George Washington said himself, “When our friendless standards were first unfurled, who were the strangers who first mustered around our staff? And when it reeled in the light, who more brilliantly sustained it than Erin’s generous sons?”

When we strove to blot out the stain of slavery and advance the rights of man, we found common cause with your struggles against oppression. Frederick Douglass, an escaped slave and our great abolitionist, forged an unlikely friendship right here in Dublin with your great liberator, Daniel O’Connell. His time here, Frederick Douglass said, defined him not as a color but as a man. And it strengthened the non-violent campaign he would return home to wage.

Recently, some of their descendents met here in Dublin to commemorate and continue that friendship between Douglass and O’Connell.

When Abraham Lincoln struggled to preserve our young union, more than 100,000 Irish and Irish Americans joined the cause, with units like the Irish Brigade charging into battle -- green flags with gold harp waving alongside our star-spangled banner.

When depression gripped America, Ireland sent tens of thousands of packages of shamrocks to cheer up its countrymen, saying, “May the message of Erin shamrocks bring joy to those away.”

And when an Iron Curtain fell across this continent and our way of life was challenged, it was our first Irish President -- our first Catholic President, John F. Kennedy, who made us believe 50 years ago this week -- -- that mankind could do something big and bold and ambitious as walk on the moon. He made us dream again.

That is the story of America and Ireland. That’s the tale of our brawn and our blood, side by side, in making and remaking a nation, pulling it westward, pulling it skyward, moving it forward again and again and again. And that is our task again today.

I think we all realize that both of our nations have faced great trials in recent years, including recessions so severe that many of our people are still trying to fight their way out. And naturally our concern turns to our families, our friends and our neighbors. And some in this enormous audience are thinking about their own prospects and their own futures. Those of us who are parents wonder what it will mean for our children and young people like so many who are here today. Will you see the same progress we’ve seen since we were your age? Will you inherit futures as big and as bright as the ones that we inherited? Will your dreams remain alive in our time?

This nation has faced those questions before: When your land couldn’t feed those who tilled it; when the boats leaving these shores held some of your brightest minds; when brother fought against brother. Yours is a history frequently marked by the greatest of trials and the deepest of sorrow. But yours is also a history of proud and defiant endurance. Of a nation that kept alive the flame of knowledge in dark ages; that overcame occupation and outlived fallow fields; that triumphed over its Troubles –- of a resilient people who beat all the odds.

And, Ireland, as trying as these times are, I know our future is still as big and as bright as our children expect it to be. I know that because I know it is precisely in times like these –- in times of great challenge, in times of great change -– when we remember who we truly are. We’re people, the Irish and Americans, who never stop imagining a brighter future, even in bitter times. We’re people who make that future happen through hard work, and through sacrifice, through investing in those things that matter most, like family and community.

We remember, in the words made famous by one of your greatest poets that “in dreams begins responsibility.”

This is a nation that met that responsibility by choosing, like your ancestors did, to keep alight the flame of knowledge and invest in a world-class education for your young people. And today, Ireland’s youth, and those who’ve come back to build a new Ireland, are now among the best-educated, most entrepreneurial in the world. And I see those young people here today. And I know that Ireland will succeed.

This is a nation that met its responsibilities by choosing to apply the lessons of your own past to assume a heavier burden of responsibility on the world stage. And today, a people who once knew the pain of an empty stomach now feed those who hunger abroad. Ireland is working hand in hand with the United States to make sure that hungry mouths are fed around the world -- because we remember those times. We know what crippling poverty can be like, and we want to make sure we’re helping others.

You’re a people who modernized and can now stand up for those who can’t yet stand up for themselves. And this is a nation that met its responsibilities -– and inspired the entire world -– by choosing to see past the scars of violence and mistrust to forge a lasting peace on this island.

When President Clinton said on this very spot 15 years ago, waging peace is risky, I think those who were involved understood the risks they were taking. But you, the Irish people, persevered. And you cast your votes and you made your voices heard for that peace. And you responded heroically when it was challenged. And you did it because, as President McAleese has written, “For all the apparent intractability of our problems, the irrepressible human impulse to love kept nagging and nudging us towards reconciliation.”

Whenever peace is challenged, you will have to sustain that irrepressible impulse. And America will stand by you -- always. America will stand by you always in your pursuit of peace.

And, Ireland, you need to understand that you’ve already so surpassed the world’s highest hopes that what was notable about the Northern Ireland elections two weeks ago was that they came and went without much attention. It’s not because the world has forgotten. It’s because this once unlikely dream has become that most extraordinary thing of things: It has become real. A dream has turned to reality because of the work of this nation.

In dreams begin responsibility. And embracing that responsibility, working toward it, overcoming the cynics and the naysayers and those who say “you can’t” -- that’s what makes dreams real. That’s what Falmouth Kearney did when he got on that boat, and that’s what so many generations of Irish men and women have done here in this spectacular country. That is something we can point to and show our children, Irish and American alike. That is something we can teach them as they grow up together in a new century, side by side, as it has been since our beginnings.

This little country, that inspires the biggest things -- your best days are still ahead. Our greatest triumphs -- in America and Ireland alike -- are still to come. And, Ireland, if anyone ever says otherwise, if anybody ever tells you that your problems are too big, or your challenges are too great, that we can’t do something, that we shouldn’t even try -- think about all that we’ve done together. Remember that whatever hardships the winter may bring, springtime is always just around the corner. And if they keep on arguing with you, just respond with a simple creed: Is féidir linn. Yes, we can. Yes, we can. Is féidir linn.

For all you’ve contributed to the character of the United States of America and the spirit of the world, thank you. And may God bless the eternal friendship between our two great nations.

Thank you very much, everybody. Thank you, Dublin. Thank you, Ireland.

President Obama is Now Addressing Dublin Crowd

Check out the live feed from Dublin for President Barack Obama's Speech at College Green on, happening on Monday, May 23, 2011 at 12:50 (EST).

Remarks of President Obama and Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny in Dublin, May 23

Remarks at the Farmleigh House, Dublin Ireland, on Monday, May 23, 2011:

PRIME MINISTER KENNY: If everybody can hear. Obviously this is the first occasion in world history I think there is two bilaterals with an American President in the space of 67 minutes. But I want to welcome President Obama and the First Lady Michelle to Dublin on their way through to a state visit in England and further activities.

I can say that the Irish people have been waiting for this visit. Their excitement is palpable. And I trust that the President and his wife and party will enjoy their visit to Moneygall, home of his triple-great grandfather, Falmouth Kearney, when he goes down there today.

I’d like to say on this occasion here we’ve discussed a range of issues. I've explained to the President the seriousness of which Ireland and its new government -- thereby myself and the presence here of the Oireachtas -- are dealing with the issues that affect our country -- the banks and the economic situation and our seriousness of intent in dealing with our budget deficit; also in conjunction with the conditions of the IMF bailout, dealing with the situation there. And we expressed appreciation for the general support of America in that regard.

We discuss the question of the Northern Ireland Assembly, the new assembly, our relationship with that assembly in relation to the British government. We discussed the implications and the consequences of the Queen’s visit here, following on the President’s invitation, and the enormous impact that that made, together with the visit of the British Prime Minister during the course of that state visit.

We discussed the question of the President’s speech on immigration, which he made in El Paso, and the fact that the administration is continuing to work on that.

We discussed the relationship between Ireland and the States, the continuing importance of that, and I reiterated the no-change policy in respect of the use of Shannon in respect of American aircraft serving the U.N. resolutions passing through.

And we discussed a range of other issues relative to the country here and the fact that courage is necessary for leaders who take risks in the interests of solving the problems of their people and their countries.

I reiterated our appreciation and heartfelt thanks to the American President for his visit here. And like all politicians, we have some unfinished business, and that is that the next time he comes back he’s going to bring his golf clubs. (Laughter.)

Thank you.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Thank you so much.

Well, first of all, let me just say how extraordinarily grateful I am to the Taoiseach, to the President of Ireland, for their extraordinary hospitality to myself and Michelle. It is heartwarming to be here -- and people even arranged for the sun to come out shortly after I arrived.

The friendship and the bond between the United States and Ireland could not be stronger. Obviously it is not just a matter of strategic interest, it’s not just a matter of foreign policy; for the United States, Ireland carries a blood link with us. And for the millions of Irish Americans, this continues to symbolize the homeland and the extraordinary traditions of an extraordinary people.

The Taoiseach and I have already had occasion to meet in Washington. It’s wonderful to be able to discuss with him again some of the important issues that he is working on. We’re glad to see that progress is being made in stabilizing the economic situation here. I know it’s a hard road, but it’s one that the Irish people are more than up to the task in achieving.

What I emphasized is that we want to continue to strengthen the bonds of trade and commerce between our two countries, and that we are rooting for Ireland’s success and we’ll do everything that we can to be helpful on the path to recovery.

We also wanted to express our extraordinary appreciation to Ireland for all the work that it does internationally. I mentioned that Ireland punches above its weight. It’s a small country, but the work it does on a range of issues -- in peacekeeping to the trainers in Afghanistan, to this work we’re doing together on food security, to its strong voice on human rights -- all that makes an enormous difference around the world. And the extraordinary relationship that we have with Ireland is also reflected in the work that it does in the EU, and so we’re grateful for that.

Finally I wanted to just express to the Irish people -- and I’ll have occasion to make some lengthier remarks later -- how inspired we have been by the progress that's been made in Northern Ireland, because it speaks to the possibilities of peace and people in longstanding struggles being able to re-imagine their relationships. To see Her Majesty the Queen of the England come here, and to see the mutual warmth and healing that I think took place as a consequence of that visit, to know that the former Taoiseach Fitzgerald was able to witness the Queen coming here, that sends a signal not just in England, not just here in Ireland, but around the world. It sends what Bobby Kennedy once called “a ripple of hope,” that may manifest itself in a whole range of ways.

And so, to all those who have been working tirelessly to bring about peace in Northern Ireland, to those who’ve been willing to take those risks, we are grateful to them. To your administration, which I know is carrying on that legacy and continues to invest in it, we appreciate it.

We are proud of the part that America played in helping to get both sides to talk and to provide a space for that conversation to take place, and we want you to know that we will continue to be there as that moves forward. And we’re confident that it, in fact, will.

So I am extraordinarily grateful to be here. To the Irish people, thank you for the wonderful welcome you’re providing my wife and myself.

PRIME MINISTER KENNY: Professor Padriac Whyt in Trinity College -- he’s a professor of children’s literature -- broached me some time ago -- in 1922, Padriac Colum was commissioned by the Hawaiian legislature to track down myths and legends of Hawaii and write them as children’s stories. He produced three volumes of children’s stories, which I presented -- and I had the honor of a first addition -- not to the President, not to the First Lady, but to his children, Malia and Sasha -- stories of their daddy’s birthplace. And I hope they enjoyed it.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, this is an extraordinary gift, and it just confirms that if you need somebody to do some good writing, you hire an Irishman. (Laughter.)

12:00 P.M. IST

RTE has live coverage of President Obama Arriving in Moneygall, Ireland

Dublin Airport, 9:29 a.m.

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are arriving in Moneygall, County Offaly, this afternoon to visit the ancestral home of the president's maternal family.

You can view the visit live at

Later this afternoon, the President and First Lady return to Dublin for an outdoor concert on College Green, featuring Imelda May, Sharon Shannon and other musicians.

For more details, visit the United States Embassy in Dublin for follow on Tweeter Obama_IrishUSA.

Video of President Obama in Ireland, Monday, May 23

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama arrived this morning at Dublin Airport in Ireland, aboard Air Force One at 9:29 a.m. European time.

They were greeted by US Ambassador to Ireland Dan Rooney and his wife Patricia, along with Ireland's Minister of Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore, T.D.

The Irish Times newspaper has a live blog of President Obama's Ireland visit.

For ongoing details, visit the US Embassy in Ireland.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Irish Echo Interview with Bill Daley, White House Official, on Obama Visit to Ireland

The Irish Echo Newspaper in New York City published an exclusive interview with White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley, who talked about President Barack Obama's upcoming visit to Ireland on Monday, May 23, 2011.

In the interview, conducted by reporter Susan Falvella Garraty, Daley is quoted as saying that "the heritage passed through (Obama's) grandfather is something he’s curious about."

Daley also indicated that President Obama will discuss policy issues with Ireland's government officials, such as immigration visas for the Irish, or the nation's low corporate tax.

The Echo quotes Daley as saying:

"Obviously the global economic crisis for the past two and half three years will be talked about and the difficulties in Ireland, what steps the Irish government have taken and what steps we have taken to come out of our crisis, but I think it’s going to be a very loose, comfortable conversation around the economic issues.”

Daley himself accompanied President Bill Clinton to Northern Ireland in 1995, and said:

“I am really looking forward to the response by the people of Ireland to our president. My parents would very proud to think that this president went back to Ireland and that I was working for him.”

For information on Irish-Americans for Obama/Biden, follow Obama_IrishUSA on tweeter.

For ongoing details on President Obama's Ireland trip, visit the US Embassy in Dublin site.

Dublin Holds Outdoor Concert for Barack and Michelle Obama at College Green on Monday, May 23

The US Embassy in Dublin has announced that President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are taking part in a public event at College Green in Dublin on Monday, May 23, 2011.

President Obama will address the audience after an afternoon and evening of musical entertainment featuring Dublin rockabilly star Imelda May, traditional accordionist Sharon Shannon and others. Irish actor Gabriel Byrne is also attending.

Earlier that day, President and First Lady Obama are visiting Moneygall, County Offaly, home of the president's Irish ancestors who left there in 1850.

For more about President Obama's connections to the Irish-American community, visit IrishAmericansforObamaBiden.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Irish-American Leaders Briefed by White House Officials on President's Trip to Ireland

Irish American leaders from around the country were briefed via teleconference by White House officials in preparation for President Obama's trip to Ireland on Monday, May 23, 2001.

The briefing took place on Wednesday, May 18 and was conducted by Denis McDonough, Deputy National Security Advisor to the President, who said the Ireland leg of the trip would celebrate the relationship between the United States and Ireland.

McDonough outlined the itinerary of the trip, including President Obama's meetings with Ireland's President Mary McAleese and Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny, as well as a visit to Moneygall, County Offaly, the ancestral home of the president's maternal side of the family and other public occasions.

The trip, which includes Ireland as well as England, France and Poland, would serve as a chance for the President to highlight America's national heritage, while underscoring the diversity of the Unites States as a fundamental tenet of its strength, McDonough said.

The teleconference was organized by Kyle Lierman, Ethnic Outreach Liaison at the White House Office of Public Engagement.

For ongoing updates on President Obama's trip to Ireland, visit the web site of the US Embassy in Ireland and the White House Briefing Room.

White House Officials Give Press Briefing on President Obama's Trip to Europe, starting in Ireland

Senior White House officials held a press conference call today to discuss President Barack Obama's upcoming visit to Europe the week of May 23, 2011.

You can read the full transcript of the Press Conference here.

Here are excerpts on the Ireland portion of the trip:

Ben Rhodes, White House Official:

Our first stop on the trip is Ireland, and one of the people who has heritage in Ireland in the United States is, of course, the President. We arrive in Dublin on Monday morning, and the first event will be a meeting between the President and the First Lady, with President McAleese and her husband as well, an important opportunity to discuss both bilateral issues with President McAleese and also to honor her extraordinary legacy of serving the people of Ireland and advancing peace in Northern Ireland as well.

After that, the President will meet with the Taoiseach -- again, this will be with the First Lady -- to discuss a range of bilateral issues. Then the President will travel to Moneygall, Ireland, which is the town in Ireland from which the President’s ancestors came. So this is a homecoming of sorts for President Obama. He’s very excited to see this small town in Ireland from which he has roots, and we’re very much looking forward to seeing some of the people of Moneygall and making a stop there.

After that, he’ll return to Dublin, where he’ll be able to deliver remarks at a public event about the ties between the United States and Ireland.

We spend the night in Dublin that night, and the next day, Tuesday, the 24th, travel to London.

Question: Good morning. My question is about Ireland. Does the President -- does he still have -- you said he has family there? Is he going to meet cousins or family?

Ben Rhodes: The President, researching his background, was able to trace his mother’s side of the family back to Ireland, and specifically to Moneygall. I believe that it is -- we could confirm this -- but I believe it’s a great-great-grandfather -- three greats.

So he has roots in Ireland and in Moneygall. Moneygall is a town of under 300 people in Ireland. It’s -- I’ve seen reports about the bloodlines that extend across the town and people who may be related to the President. So it’s certainly quite likely that in a town of that size that is so deeply rooted in that part of Ireland that there are people who share those ties. I couldn’t say with certainty who -- the nature of those relations, but we certainly expect it to be a robust topic of discussion with the residents of Moneygall when the President is able to stop by and pay a visit.

Question: Can you say a little bit more about the Dublin public speech? Is that going to be sort of more -- maybe more personal, or is it very Irish -- Irish-centric?

Ben Rhodes: The Dublin remarks I think will be very Irish-focused. And I think it’s a chance to talk about the relationship between our two countries. It’s also a chance to talk about the enormous affinity, frankly, that the American people have for Ireland that’s rooted in part in the huge population of Irish-Americans here. And it’s a chance for the President to really celebrate the ties between our countries and the kind of unique feelings that the American people have for Ireland, and hopefully that the Irish people have had with the United States for many years.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

George Mitchell Praised by President Obama and Hillary Clinton

George Mitchell, who resigned this week as US Envoy to the Middle East, was praised for his service to the United States.

President Barack Obama said in a statement,

"Over the past two and a half years, George Mitchell has worked as a tireless advocate for peace as the U.S. Special Envoy for the Middle East. His deep commitment to resolving conflict and advancing democracy has contributed immeasurably to the goal of two states living side by side in peace and security.

"George told me when he took this job that he would put in a couple of years, and I’m so glad he did. He is – by any measure – one of the finest public servants that our nation has ever had. Even though he already had an extraordinary legacy – serving the people of Maine, leading the Senate, and bringing peace to Northern Ireland – he took on the toughest job imaginable and worked grueling hours to advance the interests of the United States and the cause of peace."

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said,

"It has been an honor to work alongside Senator Mitchell over the past two years. He represents the best traditions of American diplomacy. Throughout George’s distinguished career he has taken on the hardest challenges with determination, talent and old fashioned Maine common sense. From the Senate to Northern Ireland to the State Department, his work has brought peace and increasing prosperity to millions of people around the world and made our own country stronger and more secure. "

Mitchell was the US Envoy to Northern Ireland during the Clinton Administration and helped broker the Irish Peace Agreement in 1998.

He was named to the Advisory Council on Irish Issues that Barack Obama put together in September 2008 when he was running for president.

The US-Ireland Alliance established the George J. Mitchell Scholarship in his honor to strengthen ties between future American leaders and Ireland.

Monday, May 16, 2011

President Obama Visiting Boston on Wednesday, May 18

President Barack Obama is coming to Boston on Wednesday, May 18, 2011 to kick off his Obama Victory Fund campaign for 2012

The President is appearing at the Cyclorama, Boston Center for the Arts, at 539 Tremont Street in Boston's South End, at 3:00 p.m.

For more details, visit Obama for America website.

For President Obama's statements on Irish issues, visit IrishAmericansforObamaBiden.

President Barack Obama's Trip to Ireland

President Barack Obama is visiting Ireland for the first time and is scheduled to arrive in Dublin on Monday, May 23, 2011. He'll spend most of the day in Dublin but will also take a helicopter to Moneygall, County Offaly, to visit his ancestral home, according to the US Department of State.

When he announced the trip on March 17, 2011 at the White House, President Obama said,

"I intend to come to Ireland in May, and I’m expecting to go not only to all the famous sites, but also to go to Moneygall, where my great-great-great-great-great grandfather hails from. "

Although President Obama is only about 3.1 % Irish, people in Ireland have continuously called for the president to visit Ireland since he first became president.

For ongoing details on President Obama's trip to Ireland, visit the US Embassy in Ireland site.

For more about President Obama's connections to the Irish-American community, visit IrishAmericansforObamaBiden.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

US Ambassador to Ireland Dan Rooney's Statement on Death of Bin Laden

In reaction to the death of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, U.S. Ambassador Daniel M. Rooney said in a statement:

“I am proud and grateful for the President and all the men and women of intelligence and military communities for their constant demonstration of courage and bravery. Their actions this weekend have made the world a safer and more just place to live for all humanity.”

Provided by US Embassy in Dublin, Ireland.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

President Obama's Press Conference on His Birth Certificate, April 27, 2011

President Barack Obama gives a statement on the matter of his long-birth certificate today at the White House Briefing Room.

President Obama Releases his Long-Form Birth Certificate

President Barack Obama today is releasing his long-form birth certificate to the American public today as a way of putting to rest false rumors and innuendos perpetrated by his political opponents.

You can view the birth certificate yourself by clicking here.

Read the White House statement by White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer.

Monday, April 4, 2011

President Barack Obama Launches His Re-election Campaign Today

(April 4, 2011) President Barack Obama launched his 2012 re-election campaign today with an email announcement to his followers and the release of a video from his supporters across the country.

For more information about the campaign, visit

Saturday, March 19, 2011

President Obama Addresses Guests at St. Patrick's Day Gathering at the White House on March 17, 2011


Good evening, everybody. Welcome to the White House on this beautiful St. Patrick’s Day. (Applause.) It was remarked upon that the fountain is the appropriate green this year. (Applause.) Last year, Michelle asked the White House team to make the fountain green, and it was a little tepid. (Laughter.) So people just thought there was algae in the fountain. (Laughter.) This year they made sure that there was no confusion, so we’re very happy about that. (Applause.)

I am not going to stand up here very long because, as the old Irish saying goes, everyone is wise until he speaks. (Laughter.) And I know we’ve got some entertainment to get to. But the Irish also tells us that what fills the eye fills the heart. And tonight, in this room filled with so many friends both old and new, I can’t imagine a better place to be than right here with the sons and daughters of Ireland -- and those who wish they were. (Laughter.)

I want to start by welcoming Taoiseach Kenny and his lovely wife, Fionnuala. Please give them a big round of applause. (Applause.) Now, poor Taoiseach, he’s only been in office for a little over a week. (Laughter.) He’s already jetlagged. (Laughter.) But I’m honored that he agreed to leave the unpacking for another day and fly across the ocean to be with us here tonight.

We also have more than a few Irish and Irish American friends in the house tonight. I want to thank our very talented performers, as well as the members of my administration and the members of Congress who are here. (Applause.) We are joined by three very Irish governors -- Martin O’Malley, Dan Malloy, and Pat Quinn. Thank you for coming. (Applause.)

Every year at this time, we’re reminded of just how many strands of green are woven into our American story. And even though St. Patrick’s Day has perhaps been better known for revelry than reflection, it’s also a chance for us to remember how the journey to America began for so many of our ancestors -- including, as I discovered as I was running for office, one of mine -- how millions of Irish boarded dank and crowded ships with a promise to send for their families later, often with no friends, no money, and nothing but hope waiting for them on the other side.

Like so many immigrants who came to call this country home, these men and women were guided by a deep faith and an unwavering belief that here in America a better life is available for anybody who’s willing to try. And even though they weren’t always welcomed in their new land, they persevered. They built and led and defended our country while still holding fast to their heritage. And in many ways, what it means to be Irish helped to define to what it means to be American.

That’s why today when we think about a Tip O’Neill -- whose daughter, by the way, is here tonight and his granddaughter, and it was wonderful to meet them -- (applause) -- or a Ronald Reagan, we see an example of how it’s possible to argue over policy without sacrificing friendship; how it’s easy to disagree without being disagreeable, if you make the effort.

When we think about a Henry Ford or a Cyrus McCormick, we see the ingenuity that has driven generations of Americans to build the businesses and create the inventions that have helped makes a nation an engine of prosperity.

When we think about an Audie Murphy or a John King, two of the hundreds of Irish Americans who have won the Medal of Honor, we see the heroism and bravery that comes with risking your own life for your country.

When we think about a family like the Kennedys, we see a steadfast belief in the importance of service and the duty each of us has to stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves. (Applause.)

In so many ways, the Irish and their descendants have set an example for us as a people. But they’ve also set an example for us as a nation struggling to be more just and more free. In 1845, Frederick Douglass, the great fighter for freedom here in this country, had just published his Narrative of a Life of an American Slave. And even as the book was a bestseller, Douglass began receiving steady streams of threats to his life.

So he decided to embark on a two-year lecture tour of the British Isles until things cooled down. He began by spending four months in Ireland, far from the threat of slave catchers, where he quickly found common ground with the people locked in their struggle against oppression.

As Douglass wrote, “I have spent some of the happiest moments of my life since landing in this country. I seem to have undergone a transformation. I live a new life.” It was at a Dublin rally that Douglass met the Irish nationalist Daniel O’Connell. And soon, the two struck up an unlikely friendship. O’Connell was a fierce opponent of slavery, and he began calling Douglass “the black O’Connell of the United States.” (Laughter.)

For his part, Douglass drew inspiration from the Irishman’s courage and intelligence, ultimately modeling his own struggle for justice on O’Connell’s belief that change could be achieved peacefully through rule of law. Daniel O’Connell never lived to see another great emancipator named Abraham Lincoln put pen to paper and bring slavery to an end. But the two men shared a universal desire for freedom -- one that cannot be contained by language or culture or even the span of an ocean.

And stories like this remind us just how deeply intertwined our two nations are. Nights like this remind us how much we share. And so as we celebrate together, let us take a moment to appreciate all that Ireland has given to America -- the faith we keep, the family we hold close, the laughter and song and warmth we feel when surrounded by the ones we love.

On behalf of the American people I want to thank the people of Ireland. In the years ahead, may our sons and daughters only grow closer. And now, I would like to present to you the Taoiseach of Ireland. Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all of you. Taoiseach. (Applause.)

Video: President Obama's Press Conference on St. Patrick's Day

Thursday, March 17, 2011

President Obama Announces His Trip to Ireland in May

At a press conference at the White House today, President Barack Obama confirmed that he is planning to visit Ireland in late May, 2011, as part of his European visit:

"I wanted to say today that I intend to come to Ireland in May, and I’m expecting to go not only to all the famous sites, but also to go to Moneygall, where my great-great-great-great-great grandfather hails from. Joe Biden is envious because he wants to go first -- (laughter) -- but my expectation is, is that I’ll just be laying the groundwork for what I’m sure will be an even more wonderful trip by him. But I’m very much looking forward to that."

Remarks by President Obama at Friends of Ireland Luncheon

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, everybody. Thank you so much. Everyone, please have a seat.

To Taoiseach Kenny; to his lovely wife, who has made a wonderful luncheon companion; to the Vice President who is here; to our host, Speaker Boehner, for gathering us together; Ambassador Collins and Mrs. Collins; distinguished members of the House and Senate; distinguished guests from Irish, Northern Irish, and British governments:

It is wonderful to be here and a great privilege. It’s my privilege to join all of you today for this wonderful St. Patrick’s Day celebration –- a day when red, white, and blue has a strong hint of green.

Taoiseach Kenny, welcome. We thank you for joining us. Your presence at this lunch virtually guarantees that any partisan clashes will be limited to who is more Irish than whom. (Laughter.)

Now, speaking of ancestry, there has been some controversy about my own background. (Laughter.) Two years into my presidency, some are still bent on peddling rumors about my origins. So today I want to put all those rumors to rest. It is true my great-great-great-grandfather really was from Ireland. (Applause.) It’s true. Moneygall, to be precise. I can’t believe I have to keep pointing this out. (Laughter.)

As John mentioned, this tradition began with Tip O’Neill and President Reagan -– two men of Irish stock, quick wit, and no small amount of fighting spirit. Tip’s and Gip’s differences were real; their beliefs and their battles were sincere. But so, too, were the bonds of affection and respect for one another. In fact, on the Speaker’s 70th birthday, President Reagan threw him a small party at the White House, where he offered up a toast. “Tip,” he said, “If I had a ticket to heaven and you didn’t have one, I would give mine away and go to hell with you.” (Laughter.) The two later left the room arm in arm.

Before six o’clock, it was politics. After six o’clock, they could be friends. They extended that safe zone to St. Patrick’s Day, setting aside this lunch each year so that folks in both parties could enjoy the good cheer and the good company. Our dear friend, Ted Kennedy, and others persuaded Taoiseach to join them. And the only hint of fighting in the air was the contest to out-do one another’s stories.

President Reagan insisted that this lunch not be a place for policy battles –- but rather for good cheer and fellowship that so often is missing in Washington. “Our friendship,” President Reagan said of Tip O’Neill, “is testimony to the political system that we’re part of and the country that we live in -– a country which permits two not-so-shy and not-so-retiring Irishmen to have it out on the issues, rather than on each other or their countrymen.” I think that’s a sentiment that we should all strive to keep in mind -– whether Irish or not.

Over the past week we’ve witnessed one of our finest allies, Japan, endure a terrible tragedy. As Americans, our first instinct naturally has been to help in any way that we can. And we will help the Japanese people as they recover and rebuild. But what these events should also remind us is that, in the scheme of things, our differences are small. In the face of all that we have in common, our differences are insignificant. None of us are alone in this world. We need one another -- especially in times of turmoil and trial.

And as servants of the people who sent us here, we can all do better to live up to the example that Tip O’Neill and Ronald Reagan and others often set -– to put the differences of the day aside; to seek common ground; to forge progress for the sake of this country that we love. Even before six o’clock.

So, in the months and years ahead, I hope we can summon some of the spirit of this day and work together with renewed commitment to bring about better days for all of our people. But today is a day for tens of millions of Americans of Irish descent to celebrate the tremendous influence that one small island with a big-hearted people has had on our country.

Prime Minister Kenny, I thank you and your lovely wife for coming today. We are proud to call Ireland a friend on this St. Patrick’s Day, and on all the days of the calendar -– and we thank the Irish people for all that they’ve done to enrich the United States of America.

So let me grab a glass. To our guest, the Taoiseach of Ireland. Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all of you. And may the friendship between our two countries grow ever greener. Cheers. (Applause.)


President Obama's Remarks on St. Patrick's Day at the White House, March 17, 2011

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release / March 17, 2011


PRESIDENT OBAMA: Hello, everybody. It is my great pleasure on St. Patrick’s Day to welcome the new Taoiseach, Prime Minister Kenny. We are thrilled to have him here. And we want to congratulate him on his historic victory.

We obviously have the strongest possible relationship with Ireland. The warmth, the affection, the familial and person-to-person contacts between our two countries extend far beyond any dry policy issues. There is just an incredible bond between our two countries. And that’s one that we want to reaffirm here today.

We have had an excellent conversation about how Ireland is going to be bouncing back from the severe economic challenges that it’s experienced over the last several years. The Taoiseach shared with me his plans and his efforts to make sure that people are put back to work in Ireland, that the financial system is stabilized. And he exudes great confidence, and I’m sure that we will be cooperating very closely with him and providing any assistance that we can on the economic front.

In addition, Ireland obviously plays an important role in the world. We want to thank him for the operations at Shannon that are so vital for us moving our troops into Afghanistan. It is a testimony to Ireland’s friendship to us. In addition, Ireland actually has trainers in Afghanistan that have provided us great assistance. And I expressed my appreciation for those sacrifices. We’ve worked together on issues like international food security, and we will continue to work on those issues as well.

We remarked on the fact that the situation in Northern Ireland has proven to be stable, and we are going to continue to pursue all the progress that’s been made there.

So, overall, the state of the relationship between our two countries is extraordinarily strong. This is a wonderful tradition each St. Patrick’s Day for me to be able to once again reaffirm the great warmth and affection that we have towards the people of Ireland.

And finally, I wanted to say today that I intend to come to Ireland in May, and I’m expecting to go not only to all the famous sites, but also to go to Moneygall, where my great-great-great-great-great grandfather hails from. Joe Biden is envious because he wants to go first -- (laughter) -- but my expectation is, is that I’ll just be laying the groundwork for what I’m sure will be an even more wonderful trip by him.

But I’m very much looking forward to that. And thank you so much for being here today. Thank

The White House has a full Irish Agenda on St. Patrick's Day, March 17, 2011

President Barack Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden have a busy schedule this St. Patrick's Day in Washington, DC. Here is a schedule of Irish activities released by the White House Press Office for Thursday, March 17, 2011.

10:30 am

The President and Vice President meet with Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny

Oval Office

11:05 am

The President and Irish Prime Minister Kenny will deliver statements to the press; the Vice President also attends

Oval Office

12:00 pm

The President, Vice President and Irish Prime Minister Kenny attend a St. Patrick’s Day lunch

United States Capitol

12:30 pm

Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney

James S. Brady Briefing Room

7:05 pm

The President and First Lady host a St. Patrick’s Day reception; the Vice President attends

East Room