Barack Obama wasn’t the only one making an impact in Northern Ireland this week. The President flew into the country with his family and Michelle Obama has once again proved why the world sees her as an inspirational ambassador for the United States.
The First Lady roused the student audience just before the President’s address on Monday, telling the next generation they have the power to forge their destinies and ‘we expect great things from you’.
‘Standing here today, I have never felt more optimistic… we believe in each and every one of you, that is exactly why we are here’
In his speech on Monday, the President also reminisced about his visit to Ireland in 2011, where he discovered that his great-great-great grandfather came from Moneygall and moved to New York in 1850. ‘It was a magical visit,’ the President said in his speech, ‘but the only problem was it was far too short’.
So Michelle took advantage of the trip and flew with her two daughters across the boarder to Dublin. They met with university professors at Trinity College and explored the family’s Irish ancestry, discovering that one of the President’s ancestors, John Kearny, was Provost of Ireland’s most prestigious university in the eighteenth century. Another link in the Legend of The Wild Geese.
The visit was important as it marked the ongoing relationship between the US and Ireland. Provost of Trinity College Dr Patrick Prendergast said:
‘As a country, America has welcomed many of our graduates over the years where a large number of our alumni are living. Our graduates who play a critical role in shaping the knowledge of the economy are our diaspora’
After a private tour of the Wicklow mountains, Michelle attended a performance of the world famous Riverdance. She addressed the crowd, representing her family and the dreams of the original Wild Geese:
‘It’s good to be home. You are surrounded by such a beautiful country’
The family shared a lunch with U2′s Bono at Finnegan’s pub in Dalkey, outside of Dublin, before travelling back to Northern Ireland to meet the President.