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Obama in Ireland

Stars to turnout for Obama rally as preparations underway for president's 'personal journey'

Westlife, Imelda May, and Jedward are among the acts set to appear at the public rally being held in Dublin on Monday evening as preparations are well underway for the arrival of the US president.

PREPARATIONS ARE NOW well underway for the visit of US president Barack Obama to Ireland on Monday with traffic restrictions in place in Dublin ahead of the rally to be held on College Green.

Gardaí will release more details of the disruption the public event will cause to road and public transport services later today but already Dame Street has been sealed off this morning with Phoenix Park closed off to all traffic with the exception of Dublin Zoo.

The Irish Times reports today that musical acts at the rally will include Westlife, Imelda May and Jedward. Actors Brendan Gleeson, Stephen Rea and Gabriel Byrne will also provide entertainment.

Sports stars Padraig Harrington, Robbie Keane and Brian O’Driscoll, fresh from what he will be hoping is European success today, will also be attending as well as other musical acts.

The rally will take place after Obama arrives back from a short visit to his ancestral home of Moneygall with 2fm DJ and Late Late Show presenter Ryan Tubridy set to MC the rally.

The rally is open to the public and free to enter with gates open from 2pm, three hours before the entertainment starts. More details here.

Meanwhile, the Irish Independent reports that Obama’s speech on the night will focus on the unique relationship between the US and Ireland rather than be any statement of policy.

Obama’s chief of staff William Daley has told the Irish Echo that the visit is seen by Obama as a personal journey and that the 44th president of the United States just wants to “soak it all in”, adding:

It’s a different model than the Irish are used to – being primarily African American and mixed blood, but the heritage passed through his grandfather is something he’s curious about.

Such is the anticipation ahead of arrival of Obama to Irish shores, an iPhone app has been released.

Entitled ‘Obama’s Ireland’ the app provides a chance to learn more about Obama’s Irish ancestry, the latest information and photos of Moneygall and the latest Irish weather.

One perhaps for Obama’s aides who will be accompanying him on the visit.