Obama’s cousin to pay a visit

Moneygall’s Henry Healy, a distant cousin of USA President Barack Obama, will be visiting Molly O’Looneys Pub in Narraghmore next week to spread the word about an award-winning community programme called Ireland Reaching Out.

Moneygall’s Henry Healy, a distant cousin of USA President Barack Obama, will be visiting Molly O’Looneys Pub in Narraghmore next week to spread the word about an award-winning community programme called Ireland Reaching Out.

Speaking to the Leader, Healy said anyone with an interest in the community in Narraghmore, its history, tourism, business or genealogy, to get involved and learn more about Ireland Reaching Out. “We want to showcase the natural beauties of simple things. The Ireland Reaching Out programme works with parishes across Ireland to connect with their diaspora worldwide, enabling people to trace their roots to specific Irish parishes. The aim is to rebuild and reunit community spirit in each parish from local musicians to the Gaa and when visitors come back home, for The Gathering 2013 that can experience the full Irish experience in their home parish.”

While Ireland Reaching Out parish volunteers are reaching out around the world, the website www.irelandxo.com provides a landing point in Ireland for people abroad who have some detail about where their emigrant ancestors hail from in Ireland.

“Ireland Reaching Out is currently identifying and training volunteers in parishes across the country who will guide returning diaspora to places of interest including family homesteads, grave stones or land connected to their families. People abroad can leave queries on the site that will be responded to by local trained volunteers, helping to link them to their ancestral homes,” explained Mr Healy.

Asked if his distant cousin, US President Obama, would perhaps make an appearance in Narraghmore, Mr Healy joked: “It’s just a week before the US Presidential Elections so he’d is too busy to come with me. But what happened in Moneygall with the US President’s visit goes to show how powerful our diaspora is and you never know who you might find.”

Ireland Reaching Out was invited to speak in Narraghmore on October 25th at 8pm in Molly O’Looneys pub and a presentation on the programme will be given. “We are reaching out for parishes across Ireland and Kildare to take part,” he added. For further information please contact Ireland Reaching Out on 091842013.

- Lisa Deeney