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Dublin: 16°C Saturday 2 July 2022

Obama says the "sun's coming out" as he meets with President McAleese at the Áras

Barack Obama and the First Lady Michelle have now departed Áras an Uachtaráin after meeting with president Mary McAleese and her husband this morning.

Image: Charles Dharapak/AP/Press Association Images

Updated 11.04am

US PRESIDENT BARACK Obama has met with president Mary McAleese at Áras an Uachtaráin in his first official engagement since arriving in Ireland this morning.

After touching down in Dublin airport this morning, Obama and his wife Michelle flew on Marine One to the Phoenix Park, touching down at exactly 10am  and travelling in his presidential convoy to the Áras.

There the couple were greeted by president McAleese and her husband Martin.

Upon greeting president McAleese, Obama said warmly and enthusiastically to the McAleeses that it was “so nice to see you” and that he was “thrilled to be here”, adding:

“The sun’s coming out! I can feel it!”

As she escorted the Obamas into the residence president McAleese was heard saying: “We apologise for the weather.”

The party then retired to a private meeting in the Áras that lasted around 20 minutes before they took a short walking tour around the grounds of the presidential home.

Obama then shoveled  soil on to a tree in the gardens beside the Áras before greeting and posing for pictures with schoolchildren who rang the peace bell.

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The tree is located about 50 feet from a sequoia tree that was planted by one of his predecessors, John F Kennedy, in 1963.

Obama and his wife then concluded their visit, saying warm goodbyes to the McAleeses outside the Áras as the sun shone – just as Obama had promised.

The presidential cortege then departed, bound for the official State guesthouse at Farmleigh where Obama will meet with Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore.

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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