THE hall in Moneygall was packed to capacity last Friday evening as locals met to discuss the visit of “native son” Barack Obama in May.
Those who could not get seats, stood, as Mr Obama’s cousin Henry Healy chaired the meeting.
The Gardai were represented and told the audience that a survey was being carried out in terms of security, but no firm plans were in place yet.
Members of Offaly Local Development Company were also present to discuss helping with the clean up of the area.
A representative of Dulux Paints was also present to provide villagers with a colour scheme, meaning that each house will be painted according to a colour plan.
Finally members of the local Tidy Towns were also represented to talk over plans to have Moneygall looking its best.
“Over 100 people offered to help out. There is great enthusiasm,” said local Councillor Peter Ormond.
He said there was also great fun in the village on Saturday when the Corrigan Brothers filmed the video for their new song “Welcome Home President Barack Obama”. Lead singer Ger Corrigan said they hoped President Obama would join with them in a duet when he visits Moneygall.
Over 150 locals, including Mr Healy, took part in the video bringing traffic to a standstill on Saturday.
The group’s previous tribute to Mr Obama, “There’s No One as Irish as Barack Obama” became an internet sensation with over seven million YouTube hits.
The group have also re-written the tune which they claim will be his first campaign song for re-election. They hope to present the first copy to Mr Obama when he visits Moneygall in a couple of weeks time.
Mr Corrigan told the ‘Offaly Express’, “We received wonderful co-operation from everybody but the help we received from the Roscrea Gardai was wonderful and greatly appreciated. We thank all those involved for their goodwill and patience and participation. The single will be officially released in the coming weeks and all proceeds will go to charity. The video which will be completed shortly will be viewed by the President in the White House as soon as it is available.”
Meanwhile Laois Young Fine Gael plans to welcome President Obama as he arrives in Moneygall.
Following on from the success of the Taoiseach’s visit to the White House on St Patrick’s Day, Laois YFG have decided to return the US President’s kind hospitality.
The Laois YFG group will organise transport to Moneygall for members on the day of the Obama visit and there will also be celebrations to mark the occasion.
Final preparations will get under way once the date of the President’s visit is announced.