Barack Obama Touches Down In Ireland
US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle have touched down in Ireland on their way to Britain for their first state visit.
Days after the Queen's trip, the couple are visiting Ireland for a brief 24-hour pitstop.
They waved as they left Air Force One and then walked in the wind to their helicopter waiting on the runway.
Mrs Obama, who famously hugged the Queen in 2009, embraced several members of the welcoming party.
They included Irish deputy prime minister Eamon Gilmore and his wife Carol Hanney, and US ambassador to Ireland Dan Rooney.
The couple then flew on to Phoenix Park where they met Irish president Mary McAleese and will hold talks with Irish PM Enda Kenny.
Mr Obama told Mrs McAleese: "We're thrilled to be here," adding: The sun's coming out - I can feel it."
Mr Obama will give a speech in Dublin tonight, speaking to thousands at the same location where President Bill Clinton wooed onlookers in 1995.
The US leader will also find time to stop off in Moneygall in Country Offaly, which prides itself on being an ancestral home of the 49-year-old.
Mr Obama's great-great-great-grandfather Falmouth Kearney, a shoemaker, was born there in 1831 before emigrating to Americain 1850.
When the ancestral link was first revealed four years ago, the news was met with initial scepticism.
But the villagers shrugged off the jokes and are now about to reap the rewards of a presidential visit.
Local resident Henry Healy, 26, an accountant, has traced a family connection and claims to be an eighth cousin to Mr Obama.
He said: "We've all been caught up in this dream. Nothing in the village seems really.
"I've been rehearsing what I'm going to say to the president for months in my head. I can't really believe it's going to happen."
Mr Obama will spend just 24 hours in Ireland before flying to Britain for his first state visit and then on to France and Poland.
He and his wife Michelle will stay at Buckingham Palace with the Queen, who they first met during a trip in 2009.
A massive security operation believed to be costing around £10m has been put in place for the three-day visit.
The couple, who have an entourage of several hundred travelling with them, will be guests of honour at a state banquet hosted by the Queen.
Mr Obama is looking to bolster his links with America’s long-standing western allies and the "special relationship" with Britain during the trip.
He will hold takes with Prime Minister David Cameron, where the leaders are expected to discuss Libya, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Mr Obama will also be looking to discuss how to deal with the political upheaval in the Arab world.
In an unprecedented move, the two leaders will unveil a joint national security strategy as the US opens up its National Security Council to the UK.
A combined security board will be set up so officials can meet regularly to discuss foreign policy, defence and security issues.
Mr Obama's visit to Europe comes after his controversial call for Israel to retreat to its 1967 borders to secure a peace deal with Palestine.
The president sought to allay concerns he was veering in a pro-Palestinian direction on Sunday by insisting he had only been restating settled US policy.