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Crowds began gathering in Dublin city centre at 7am this morning for the chance to see Obama.
Crowds began gathering in Dublin city centre at 7am this morning for the chance to see Obama.
Image: Stephen Kilkenny

Thousands gather in Dublin city hours ahead of Obama’s presidential address

The US president performing at today’s event which will also feature music from Irish acts including Westlife, Jedward and Sharon Shannon.
May 23rd 2011, 4:13 PM 1,336 0

Updated at 16.30

AS BARACK AND MICHELLE Obama head to Moneygall in Co Offaly this afternoon, huge crowds are gathering in Dublin city centre for of this evening’s concert and presidential address.

Concert host Ryan Tubridy tweeted earlier that the gig should kick off “around 4-ish”, but said anyone who wants to see Obama should make sure to be in position by 6. The concert stage has been set up outside the Bank of Ireland at College Green, where President Bill Clinton addressed the crowds during his state visit in 1995.

A list of items prohibited from the Dame Street area includes weapons, sharp objects, food, beverages, umbrellas and flags. There won’t be any storage on site, but bags, backpacks and suitcases are not allowed in to the gated area between Dame Street and College Green.

Entrances to the restricted section of Dame Street and College Green have opened and are located on Parliament Street and the Christchurch end of Dame Street, near Lord Edward Street. A small group of people broke through barriers and rushed towards the security gates in order to skip the queue, but more gardaí arrived on the scene to control the queue.

Gardaí have also been reminding people that prams are barred from entering the security zone near the stage.

Concert

Although Jedward’s road manager said earlier this afternoon that the band’s flight from London was delayed, the twins are all set to perform at today’s concert along with other Irish performers including Westlife, Sharon Shannon, Celine Byrne, the Sawdoctors, Imelda May and the Coronas.

Actors Stephen Rea, Saoirse Ronan, Brendan Gleeson and Gabriel Byrne are due to put in an appearance at the event, as are Robbie Keane, Henry Shefflin, Colm Cooper, Padraig Harrington, Brian O’Driscoll and Katie Taylor.

Speculation that Bono or U2 will show up for an impromptu performance continues, given Bono’s support for the US president. The band’s City of Blinding Lights was used as part of Obama’s presidential campaign three years ago.

Gallery: Crowds building in Dublin ahead of Obama event:

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Susan Ryan

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