US secret service officials visit Moneygall

Monday 16 May 2011 17.59
Moneygall - US President Barack Obama will visit his ancestral home next Monday
Moneygall - US President Barack Obama will visit his ancestral home next Monday

Over 60 US officials have inspected the preparations for President Barack Obama's visit to Moneygall.

The US team included members of an advanced security team from the secret service.

They met senior gardaí and officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs in the Co Offaly village.

Many residents have expressed concern over restrictions on the number of people who will be allowed to attend the President's visit to his ancestral home next Monday.

Mr Obama's distant relative Henry Healy told RTÉ News that nothing has yet been agreed for the arrangement.

Preparations are continuing in Moneygall with the painting of the local national school today and the opening of a number of gift shops selling souvenirs.

It has not yet been confirmed whether President Obama will speak publicly on the streets of the town, but locals have been told it will be a low-profile event.

The president's main speaking engagement is expected to be in Dublin.

A section of the M7 Dublin to Limerick road is closed at Moneygall for road works.

However, it is not clear whether a new roadway ramp from the M7 onto the Cloughjordan road into Moneygall will be constructed.