IMAGES of President Barack Obama wielding a hurley and drinking a pint of Guinness will encourage more visitors to Ireland.
Sallins man Kevin Dillon, who spent time working with the US President when he was a Senator, said the pictures published abroad will enhance Ireland’s image abroad and act as a boost for tourism.
The former Naas CBS student, who also worked as a consultant on a Middle Eastern peace programme in Washington, believes the visit will “copperfasten our links with the US and our strong economic ties with US companies which continue to invest in Ireland”.
Mr. Dillon got VIP tickets for the speech and was in the front row centre “which was great when he came down into the crowd to shake hands afterward but unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to talk to him” on May 23.
He added US investment will be vital to Ireland’s our economic recovery while in the US the visit will hopefully “keep the plight of undocumented Irish on the agenda and spur on immigration reform in the coming years” but is unlikely to impact on the EU/IMF bailout because this is essentially a European issue.
He added: “On a personal note I was delighted to be so close to see my old boss in action and that the people of Ireland got a chance to see his powers of oratory in full flow. He is a truly iconic international figure.”
Mr. Dillon is currently working with MEP Liam Aylward in Brussels having spent the past year working in Washington.