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Dublin: 20 °C Thursday 28 May, 2020
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Moneygall publican gets invite to the White House

Both Ollie Hayes and his nephew Henry Healy have received official invites to celebrate St Patrick’s Day with the Obamas.

The cardboard cut out won't be needed now as Hayes will have met the man himself twice!
The cardboard cut out won't be needed now as Hayes will have met the man himself twice!
Image: Photocall Ireland

THE MOST FAMOUS publican in the village of Moneygall has been invited to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with the first family of the United States of America.

Ollie Hayes received the official invite from the White House in the post last week. His nephew – and Barack Obama’s distant cousin – Henry Healy was also honoured with an invitation.

Both men were surprised to receive a plus one on the invites.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Hayes said that the obvious choice would be to bring his wife but she was too busy looking after the pub and their four-year-old daughter.

“My wife Majella said nothing would beat the experience of having 15 minutes of private time with the President and the First Lady last year right here in Moneygall,” he said. “So she is happy to hold the fort while I go.”

Hayes’s sister Helen is stepping up and attending the event with her brother instead. Healy has asked his mother Marion – who is Helen and Ollie’s sister – to accompany him.

The event in Washington DC, during which a bowl of shamrock is traditionally handed over to the US President, is actually to take place on 20 March and not on St Patrick’s Day itself on 17 March.

The Taoiseach Enda Kenny and his wife will also participate in the ceremony.

Hayes and Healy were nominated by the American ambassador to Ireland Dan Rooney to receive the honour. They had both heard “remarks being passed” before and were told to make themselves available for the 20 March.

Moneygall publican gets invite to the White House
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