On Sunday, March 17, former President Obama took to Instagram to ring in St. Patrick's Day with a throwback photo from the Emerald Isle along with a dad joke. Barack Obama's St. Patrick's Day 2019 post remembers his 2011 trip to Ireland. And, you guys, it's so heartwarming.
Back in 2011, the former POTUS rediscovered his Irish roots when he visited Moneygall, a small town in Ireland which was the home of his great-great-great grandfather on his mother's side, a shoemaker named Falmouth Kearney. Moneygall has embraced the Obama ties and even erected a service stop complete with a gas station, a sit down restaurant and a fast food counter called the Barack Obama Plaza as a tribute to the president's Irish heritage.
On St. Patrick's Day, the former president was feeling nostalgic as he took to Instagram to reminisce on visiting his ancestral home almost eight years ago.
Alongside a throwback photo from his trip, Obama wrote, "This was back in 2011, when I was visiting the tiny town of Moneygall, the place where my great-great-great grandfather, a shoemaker named Falmouth Kearney, lived his early life."
He continued, "I marveled as I walked around on the same old floorboards that he did, then I had the privilege to address the people of Ireland on College Green. For me, this photo pretty much sums up their joyful spirit; a warmth and generosity that stay with me to this day."
Former President Obama couldn't help concluding his post with a dad joke, writing, "Happy St. Patrick's Day—on this day, it’ll always be O’Bama."
He also shared the 2011 photo on Twitter with a similar caption, signing off as "Barack O'Bama."
Obama's ties to the small Irish town through his maternal relative first came to light when he was running for president in 2007. Back in 1850, a then 19-year-old Falmouth Kearney left Moneygall and the devastation of the Irish Potato Famine for America, according to reports. And on May 23, 2011, Obama made a 90-minute stop in the town — which had only 310 residents at the time — while he was in Ireland for an official visit. While he was there, he reportedly drank a pint of Guinness and visited the remnants of his ancestor's house.
At the time, the president joked, "My name is Barack Obama, of the Moneygall O’bamas. I’ve come home to find the apostrophe that we lost somewhere along the way."
Soon after his visit, the town decided to build a Barack Obama Plaza where travelers can pose with a sign and purchase Barack-themed merchandise like shirts embossed with the phrase "What’s the Craic, Barack?" (What's up, Barack) or "Is Feidir Linn" (Yes we can).
Unsurprisingly, the Twitterverse loves that there's a full-on tribute to the former POTUS in the middle of the Irish countryside.
Now that the former president is retired from his days at the Oval Office, could he and Michelle be making another trip to the Emerald Isle? Judging from the nostalgic tone of this St. Patrick's Day post, I wouldn't rule it out.