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'He might come to the plaza and have a burger': Obama's 'coming back to Ireland'

The US ambassador to Ireland said he expects Obama to visit in the next year.

23/5/2011 President Obama's visit to Ireland Source: /Photocall Ireland

Updated: 13.45

OUTGOING US PRESIDENT Barack Obama is coming back to Ireland in the next 12 months, according to the US ambassador to Ireland.

Kevin O’Malley said Obama is keen on returning to Ireland five years after visiting his ancestral home in Moneygall, Offaly.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio One this afternoon, O’Malley said: “The last sentence that the president said to me on Wednesday of this week when we were saying goodbye was ‘please tell them I’m coming’.

So I think that’s the President’s way of saying informally that you’ll probably see him again.

O’Malley predicted that the outgoing president would be coming in the next year or so.

Obama’s eighth cousin Henry Healy told TheJournal.ie he is delighted that the visit has become public knowledge and said he’s not shocked by the announcement.

4/7/2014. Opening of Obama Plaza Directors Pat and Una McDonagh , with Enda Kenny and Henry Healy at the Obama Plaza in Moneygall Source: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

He said: “Well it’s not new to me. It’s something he’s always said as recent as St Patrick’s Day. He said that once he leaves office he wants to get a round of golf in.

“I’m delighted that the ambassador has made public those remarks. It reignites the hope  and it something to look forward in the coming 12 months.”

Healy, who is operations manager of the Barack Obama Plaza on the outskirts of Moneygall, said the president may even come in for a bite to eat.

The plaza is owned by Pat McDonagh, who founded Supermac’s.

“It’d be very hard for him to pass it. He’d have to drive by it if he’s coming into Moneygall. If you had something named after you, the curiosity would get the better of ya. He’d be well aware of the plaza. Maybe he’ll drop in for a five ounce burger,” Healy added.

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