O'Bama Has the Luck of the Irish | NBC New York

O'Bama Has the Luck of the Irish

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    Obama's great-great grandfather lived in a small Irish town an hour west of Dublin until he immigrated to America in 1850, which makes the new commander in chief 3.1 percent Irish.

    Erin go Bama!

    Scores of Irish Americans are waiting for President Barack Obama to publicly embrace his other ancestral roots -- on the Emerald Isle.

    Obama's great-great grandfather lived in a small Irish town an hour west of Dublin until he emigrated to America in 1850, which makes the new commander in chief 3.1 percent Irish, Politicoreported.

    Falmouth Kearney lived the village of Moneygall in County Offaly, which is being considered for as a future site for an exhibit dedicated to Obama.

    "He's as much Irish as he is Kenyan," Irish American Democrats President Stella O'Leary told the site. "He's been very wrapped up in his African-American heritage. But we will welcome him with open arms." 

    With St. Patrick's Day a week away, many are urging Obama to make public his Irish roots -- and hope the commander in chief will join them in raising a frothy pint of Guinness Tuesday.

    "God bless Falmouth Kearney, he married into good stock. It's been a wonderfully pleasant surprise," American Ireland Fund President Kieran McLoughlin said. "And now the main platform to showcase that [connection] occurs in about a week." 

    Obama is said to be planning an extravagant St. Patrick's Day gala and invited Ireland's prime minister -- who also hails from County Offaly -- to attend the annual Shamrock ceremony in Washington, D.C.

    Obama even issued a traditional proclamation naming March Irish-American Heritage Month, and he has mentioned his Irish roots in passing before.

    "It turns out I have Irish heritage, and I'm not talking about my cousin Dick Cheney," Obama told a crowd at a St. Patrick's Day dinner in Scranton, Pa., last year. "It never hurts to be a little Irish when running for president of the United States." 

    Indeed. The luck of the Irish doesn't hurt. Henry Healy, believed to be Obama's eighth cousin, was included in an advertisement for a group aimed at garnering votes from Irish-Americans for Obama. He even attended the group's inaugural ball, Politico reported.

    The 24-year old is the clearest link to the commander in chief's great-great grandfather, but he has never seen his cousin.

    "I think it's surreal to think that I share the same ancestry as the most powerful man in the world," Healy told Politico. "I've never heard from Obama. But I think he's had more important things on this mind than to contact a very distant relative in Ireland."

    But his Irish family hasn't forgotten him.

    When Healy attended the inaugural ball, he carried an invitation from the people of Moneygall urging Obama to visit his ancestral home.