Obama Says U.S., Ireland have 'Blood Link'

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President Barack Obama opened his six-day European tour in Ireland on Monday after Air Force One landed in Dublin.

Obama's visit will highlight America's deep ties with the Irish.

In his remarks remarks alongside Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny, Obama said the U.S. and Ireland share a "blood link" that goes beyond strategic interests or foreign policy because of the ties of millions of Irish Americans in the United States.

The president's 24-hour stop on the Emerald Isle will include a visit to Moneygall, the tiny village in County Offaly where Obama's maternal great-great-great-grandfather was born.

Obama's ancestor, Falmouth Kearney, a shoemaker, left Moneygall for the United States in 1850 at the height of Ireland's Great Famine. Obama's roots in the town were discovered during the 2008 presidential campaign.

"It's certainly quite likely that in a town of that size that is so deeply rooted in that part of Ireland that there are people who share those ties," said Ben Rhodes, Obama's deputy national security adviser for strategic communications.

The president will also travel to England, France and Poland during his tour.

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