After a successful re-election during the summer, president Obama looks set to kick off his second term as 57th president of the United States in style with a major inauguration celebration taking place today.
Amidst the officialdom and all the celebrations there will Irish element to this piece as two Irishmen from a little village in Offaly will be among the many hundreds of thousands who will turn out to see the 57th president of the United States begin his term.
Henry Healy and Ollie Hayes may not be well known but both helped play a big role in bringing Barack Obama to Ireland in 2011. Henry Healy is Obamas Irish cousin (eighth cousin) and helped Obama identify his longlost Irish roots, while it was local publican Ollie Hayes, people may recall who served Obama his first pint of Irish Guinness on Irish soil. Both men have journeyed all the way from their home in Moneygall in Co. Offaly to lend their support to one of Irelands biggest American fans.
This was the second inauguration for the pair, having traveled to see Obama for his famous first inauguration, however this time it will be slightly more memorable as the pair have obtained priority seating with Mr Healy noting, “We have secured tickets for the viewing area, so we will be able to get into the front of Capitol Hill.”
There will be more to their visit than just taking in the inauguration for the pair have a packed schedule ahead of them on their visit to Washington. They also hold invitations to the Irish American Democrats Ball, the Irish embassy, the official inaugural ball and various media engagements, presenting as they do a unique Irish connection to the president who is a great example of the heights Irelands diaspora can climb.
The inauguration and its celebrations which include performances by Kelly Clarkson and Beyonce dominating the whole of stateside we wish Mr Obama and his Irish cousin Mr Healy the best and hope the president may find the time to visit us once more especially in 2013, the year of the Irish Gathering.