Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Portrait Of President Obama As Guinness Lover

A St. Patrick's Day gift from Irish cousin Henry Healy...
President Obama's nearest living Irish relation, eighth cousin Henry Healy, visited the White House on Tuesday for the St. Patrick's Day reception.  He presented the President with the portrait, above, that shows America's foremost beer drinker enjoying a pint of Guinness in front of the home of his Irish ancestors in the village of Moneygall and the White House.  It was created by Irish artist Brian Fogarty.

"This is the gift I gave President Obama! I had the opportunity to meet with him and the First Lady yesterday!" Healy tweeted on Wednesday morning. 

President Obama toured the Moneygall house during his 2011 visit to Ireland, joined by Healy and other relationsHealy was spending his second St. Patrick's Day with the President; last year they ducked out for a pint of Guinness at DC's storied Irish pub The Dubliner.  

Obama portist Fogarty is a school teacher from County Tipperary now living in Galway, Healy told The Obama Diary.

The President is related to three families in Moneygall.  In 1761, Sarah Healy, Henry's ancestor, married Joseph Kearney, the great-great-grandfather of Falmouth Kearney, who is President Obama's great-great-great-grandfather on his mother's side.  Falmouth Kearney lived in Moneygall until he emigrated to New York in 1850 at age 19.  (Above, Healy is center in The Dubliner in 2012, with Moneygall publican Ollie Hayes at right)

*Top photo by Henry Healy; second by Pete Souza/White House