Is Barack Obama Irish? The former President’s surprising Irish roots

Obama wouldn’t be the first ex-US President to have Irish roots, but you may wonder how exactly his family tree connects to Ireland. So, is Barack Obama Irish? Let’s reveal!

Looking back at the line of former US Presidents we notice that many of them have had a connection to Ireland in one way or another.

John F. Kennedy, Theodore Roosevelt, George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton have all claimed Irish heritage. In fact, it has been said that 23 out of the 46 American Presidents have made connections to Ireland throughout the generations. Now that’s astonishing!

Of course, the Irish have travelled all over the world, emigrating and settling in all corners of the globe as far as Australia, New Zealand, Canada and of course the USA, so it is inevitable that many citizens have Irish roots.

This includes Barack Obama, who took the Presidential seat from 2009 to 2017, and was America’s first African-American President. But is Barack Obama Irish? Let’s dig deep to find out!

His homecoming – Obama’s trip to Ireland

Is Barack Obama Irish? This statue says so.

It never comes as a surprise to us, when people claim Irish heritage, especially Americans, who love everything about the Irish culture and traditions. So, when America’s 44th President claimed to have Irish roots, we were absolutely thrilled.

Obama, being a powerful, yet very humble man, was an honour for us to accept as Irish, and we were excited when he came to Ireland in 2011, which was dubbed ‘Obama comes home to Ireland’. So, is Barack Obama Irish? Well, yes indeed he is. In fact, his ancestors hail from Moneygall in Co. Offaly, a place which Obama stopped off while on his trip ‘home’.

Anyone that travels to Moneygall today will now see the famous Barack Obama Plaza, as well as the new motto of the town ‘The Ancestral home of US President Barack Obama’, and proud they should be.

Since word spread that Obama was from County Offaly, this small town became a ‘must visit’ on everyone’s travel list, especially to the Ollie Hayes pub where he famously poured a pint of Guinness. This visit truly put Moneygall on the map!

Is Barack Obama Irish? – the former President’s roots revealed

Is Barack Obama Irish?
Credit: Flickr / Speaker John Boehner

Barack Obama’s Irish heritage hails from his mother’s side and his third great grandfather by the name of Fulmoth Kearney, who, in the 19th century, left small town Moneygall for the big city lights of New York in 1850.

While he and his sister were on their way to settle on some inherited land in Ohio, they wouldn’t be the last of the family to emigrate. However, Fulmoth was the most recent on Obamas mothers’ side of the family.

On his trip back home, he actually reunited with some distant cousins, including Henry Healy, reconnecting with his ancestral family heritage. Now, how many people can say that their cousin was the President of the United States?

It was all down to Henry, who initiated the visit, by inviting his eighth cousin over to his ancestral town of Moneygall, and it worked! Surprisingly, Obama was not aware of his Irish links to this small town until 2007 and since then has carried the badge with honour.

A true Irishman – he loves a Guinness

As well as having Irish roots, he has connections to Kenya on his father’s side, as well as being born in Hawaii and spending some of his early years with his family in Indonesia.

His Irish roots truly shine through with his humble attitude and happy go lucky charm. He was also a big fan of Guinness when he had his first pint of the trip in Ollie Hayes pub, and was quoted as saying, ‘’You’re keeping all the best stuff here”.

He also stated that when he had his first-ever pint of Guinness in Ireland at Shannon Airport, he couldn’t believe how different it tasted from the ones served back in the States. He is a true Irishman with the wit, the charm and the taste for a good pint of the black stuff.

His return – when will he be back home?

Is Barack Obama Irish?

It is inevitable that Barack Obama, and his wife Michelle Obama, will return to Ireland again soon with the world now opening up once more, and we are sure there is plenty more Irish heritage to uncover for him.

Considering how much he enjoyed his last visit, we are sure he has every intention of returning home and revisiting his family history.

We are also positive that his next visit will draw in the crowds, eager for a glimpse of the former US President that we all know and love. Let’s hope he doesn’t keep us waiting too long.

Will a visit to Dublin city, the Irish capital, and the likes of the Trinity College Library be on the cards? Or perhaps a trip to Kilkenny city now that he is no longer in the White House?