Following the historic visit of US president Barack Obama to Ireland last month, a portrait of him painted by a Letterkenny artist now sits proudly in the famous Moneygall pub where he enjoyed a pint with the locals.
Well known charity worker and artist, Margaret Wilkie, painted the portrait of the US President over a year ago and says for mush of that time since it lay behind her sofa.
That was until the Mr Obama announced he and his wife were planning to visit Ireland and his ancestral home in Moneygall Co. Offaly.
Margaret dusted off her work of art and recently she was invited down to MoneyGall to show off her painting.
She says it was a great honour to received the invitation from Rev Canon Stephen Neill, that man who carried out much of the research into the links between the President and his Irish ancestors.
“I took up painting portraits as a hobby about five years ago. I had done a painting of Barack Obama last year not knowing he was coming to Ireland. It sat behind the sofa for a year but then I got it framed and had it on display in my charity shop window and then I got invited down to Moneygall,” she said.
She travelled to Offaly with her husband Samuel. Once there, she met Mr Obama’s relative, eighth cousin Henry Healy, as well as publican Ollie Hayes of Hayes pub where the president and wife Michelle enjoyed a pint of the black stuff, as well as some lighted hearted banter with the locals.
“Now the picture hangs in the bar and they are now getting a plaque with my name on it hang underneath it. I can’t imagine how many people and tourists are going to see it. It really was a great honour and I enjoyed it immensely,” Margaret added.
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