Details of Obama Irish visit fall into place

The word is there is no chance of skipping school. The first daughters will not get to go on next week's Ireland trip with their parents, Barack and Michelle Obama.

Sasha and Malia will stay at home in Washington during the presidential visit to Ireland which starts Sunday with the arrival of the 44th president on Irish soil for the first time.

A White House spokeswoman for the First Lady told the Irish Echo that just like her husband, this will be the first visit by Mrs. Obama to Ireland.

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Most of the attention in the run-up to the Irish visit has focused on the president but the First Lady's presence is now certain to draw huge attention from the Irish public and press.

Michelle Obama will not have any separate events during her time in Ireland, however.

"The First Lady will stay with the president throughout the trip," said the White House spokeswoman.

Asked if he was excited to be heading to Ireland in the White House, the president smiled broadly, but didn't stop to respond following a trip to flood ravaged Memphis, Tennessee.

Advance details on the itinerary are being kept tightly wrapped because of security apprehensions. The anxiety is merited after a viable pipe bomb was found on a bus destined for Dublin during Queen Elizabeth's visit to Dublin this week.

Since the killing of Osama bin Laden, concerns of reprisal by al-Qaeda have been a worry throughout Europe and the U.S. and Ireland is not exempt from such concerns.

A spokeswoman for Irish President Mary McAleese told the Echo that Mr. Obama will "make a courtesy call on the president at Áras an Uachtaráin."

Obama will also make a public speech to thousands in Dublin on Monday and will fly to Moneygall in County Offaly where he will be greeted by thousands of well-wishers.

The tiny hamlet has been spruced up and hundreds of media representatives from all over the world have been there already.

The president will stop in for a pint at Ollie Hayes' pub and see the home his ancestors lived in before they left for America in the mid 19th century. He will then depart for London for a full state visit with this followed by the G8 summit in France.