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Obama Mini-break

Now you see him... Obama may only stay in Ireland for five hours

Initial reports from the White House show that President Obama is planning a very, very short stay in Ireland

INITIAL PLANS for the visit of Barack Obama to Ireland suggest he may stay here for just five hours before heading to London on 23 May.

The news will come as a shock to the government, which was expecting him to spend at least an overnight here, Niall O’Dowd, editor of the Irish Voice and founder of suggests.

One White House insider called it a “hot minute” trip when asked to describe it,  O’Dowd adds.

The draft outline of his trip see Obama arrive into Dublin for several events, and then flying onto his ancestral home at Moneygall, where his helicopter will land on the local GAA field.

He will hang around for several events in the village before hotfooting it to Britain, where he’s taking part in a state visit.

O’Dowd adds that Obama is making the trip “purely at the behest of American Ambassador Dan Rooney who had played a key role in Obama’s victory in Pennsylvania”.

However, officials have said that the programme for the trip could change as the date looms, and there is an awareness in the White House that such a short stay could have more negative than positive consequences.

Have your say: Does it really matter how long Obama stays in Ireland? >

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