Canon Neill Savours Hug And Kiss From Michelle

THE man who did more than most to bring about the visit by tracing Barack Obama’s roots to the area, Canon Stephen Neill, said that he was elated and still on a high.

THE man who did more than most to bring about the visit by tracing Barack Obama’s roots to the area, Canon Stephen Neill, said that he was elated and still on a high.

It was Canon Neill who researched the records in the local church that showed Obama’s third great- grandfather, Fulmouth Kearney, had emigrated from Moneygall for the US in the 1840s.

“They are so charismatic and natural. They were highly interested in the records in the church and Michelle said that the records showed that no matter where we were from, we were all related, all connected,” he said.

Canon Neill described the US first couple as “charming people” and said that there was a “great spark between them - he even bought a present for his mother-in-law”.

And what was one the big highlights on the day: “She gave me a big hug and a kiss.”

Publican Ollie Hayes said: “What can I say about today? He responded to every person in the crowd and the weather didn’t dampen the occasion. It was beyond anyone’s expectations.”

See this week’s Tipperary Star for a full round-up of Obama’s visit to Moneygall