L-R: Kieran Costello, Cllr Peter Ormond, Senator Mary White, Ollie Hayes of Ollie Hayes Bar where President Obama poured a pint of Guinness during his 2012 visit.
Fianna Fáil Senator Mary White has expressed her delight following the erection of signage on the M7 motorway signifying the ancestral village of 44th US President Barack Obama at Moneygall, County Offaly.
Senator White began campaigning for appropriate signage to be erected in 2012 after visiting Moneygall Village and hearing first-hand accounts of how moved President Obama was as he entered his ancestral home in Moneygall.
After campaigning with the support of Fáilte Ireland and negotiations with the National Roads Authority, Senator White’s work came to fruition as the signage was erected on Sunday 17 April.
Senator White Commented: “I am truly delighted that signage has been erected in time for tourism season in Moneygall. As Seanad spokesperson for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, I am hopeful jobs will be created in Moneygall as a result of this signage”.
“When President Obama visited Moneygall in May 2011 thousands of people came out to warmly welcome him to the town where his ancestors lived. He was overcome by the reception he received and described it as a proud moment.
“I feel it is important that tourists travelling through this part of the country are made aware of our link to the 44th President of the United States.
“I am delighted that we had support from Fáilte Ireland for this from the start and that we now have the full backing of the NRA, said Senator White.
Henry Healy, a member of the Moneygall Development Association and a 9th cousin of US President Barack Obama said, “It was refreshing to work with Senator White who had seen the merits in our arguments for improved signage to Moneygall.”
Kieran Costello of MDA noted that: “People have stumbled upon Moneygall and had no idea of our links to President Obama and what facilities we have. This signage will raise our profile to the thousands of commuters on the Dublin-Limerick route and might just entice them to come visit our village, and perhaps enter the ancestral home which is open to the public every day.”
“The MDA look forward to continue working with Senator Mary White, and also Cllr Peter Ormond for the continued development of Moneygall as a tourism destination. We very much appreciate all the hard work that our local representatives are continually doing behind the scenes to promote our village.”