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Dublin: 12 °C Sunday 26 October, 2014

The Obama ladies’ trip to Ireland cost $251,000

Don’t worry though – the US paid for it.

Malia Obama crosses her eyes at a special performance of Riverdance at the Gaiety Theatre on 17 June last year.
Malia Obama crosses her eyes at a special performance of Riverdance at the Gaiety Theatre on 17 June last year.
Image: AP/Press Association Images

A SURVEY THIS week found that visitors to Ireland believe they get great value for money while on holiday here.

We’re not sure the US taxpayer will agree though.

New documents, revealed by government watchdog Judicial Watch following a lawsuit, show the total cost of the First Lady’s trip to Dublin last June was $251,161.86 (€181,000).

Michelle Obama brought her daughters, Sasha and Malia, to Dublin for a spot of sight-seeing between 17 and 19 June while her husband attended the G8 Summit in Fermanagh.

The total cost included a $55,000 spend for 30 rooms at the Shelbourne Hotel in the capital, as well as a $70,855 bill for the Westbury.

The Marker wasn’t left behind either, charging the First Family $22,000.

Wicklow car hire company, JP Ward and Sons of Bray, were also paid $114,000 (€82,000) to chauffeur the trio around Leinster for three days.

At the time of the visit, the Washington Times reported that Michelle Obama was staying in the $3,300-a-night Princess Grace suite in the Shelbourne in the city’s centre.

The money covered by the US government included the spend on the three Obamas, plus security and staff.

The Secret Service documents also reveal that members of the entourage stayed at the Westbury, just off Grafton Street.

The watchdog is not happy with the amount of money spent during the trip. The group’s President said the family “abused the perk of the president’s official trip to the G8 summit for a luxury European vacation at taxpayer expense”.

“And it is shameful that it took a federal lawsuit to obtain this information. Transparency goes by the wayside for the Obamas when it comes to covering up their abuse of taxpayer resources,” he added.

The total cost of the trip to Ireland, when flights and Barack Obama’s expenses, was put at $7.9 million. The vast majority of that cost was for the Air Force air costs.

In pics: Michelle Obama and girls visit Wicklow park and lunch with Bono in pub

Bono taking the Obama ladies out for lunch in Dalkey

How the Obama girls can get a REAL Irish holiday experience

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