On May 23rd I was one of the privileged few who got to shake the hands of an inspirational couple, Barack and Michelle Obama. Hours of waiting in line in spontaneous rain storms just melted away as he reached out his hand.
I have always been proud to be Irish but in recent years, as the papers have been awash with bankers, bailouts and billions, my faith has been tested. Despite these challenges however, I have seen the Moneygall community come together and I have realised what can be achieved when you aim high. One would think that trying to bring one of the most influential men in the world to a village of 300 would be impossible but with a little bit of luck and a lot of hard work, impossible is nothing.
Moneygall, like every other community has seen its share of business closures. Since Obama announced his visit however, a number of small business have opened their doors, and we have seen a €7 million investment by Pat McDonagh in the Obama Travel Plaza. Business confidence is starting to return in Moneygall and hopefully it is a sign of things to come for the rest of Ireland.
I also hope that O’bama enjoyed discovering his lost apostrophe! His speech in College Green portrayed Ireland in a positive light on the world stage and should act as an inspiration to us all.
Is feidir linn.