LOUTH TD Gerry Adams insists he will lobby the powers that be to bring Barack Obama to this area on his upcoming visit to Ireland.

LOUTH TD Gerry Adams insists he will lobby the powers that be to bring Barack Obama to this area on his upcoming visit to Ireland.

His vow follows on from a rallying call from Sinn Féin councillor Tomás Sharkey to bring the most powerful man in the world to the county when he visits here in May.

Deputy Adams, recently elected as the poll topper in the General Election locally, was in Washington with President Obama for St Patrick’s Day and said that while it would be a struggle to get him here just over 10 years on from Bill Clinton’s visit to the town, he would do his best.

Deputy Adams said: “We’ll lobby on it (bringing him here) but I’d imagine his first port of call will be to Moneygall.

“There’s also talk of him unveiling a statue to Frederick Douglas but we’ll clearly lobby for it to happen and we’ll do our best.

“I think it’s more likely that we’ll get Bill Clinton here sometime soon.

“I’d personally love to see him go to Northern Ireland as well as here and we have been pressing for that as well.

“The government controls a lot of what way the itinerary goes though but we can only do our best and we will.”

The Sinn Féin president, who as well as meeting Obama last week also met with Pat Leahy of the International Fund for Ireland and vice president Joe Biden, was speaking from Stormont after holding a joint meeting of his party’s TDs and MLAs.

He says they hope to work together on all-Ireland strategies including tourism and policing in the weeks, months and years ahead.

That strategy was echoed by Cllr Tomás Sharkey who said that any visit here by the President would be a huge boost to local tourism.

“Everyone should push together to make the president’s visit to County Louth happen,” he said.

“One of the Louth Economic Forum’s most recent plans was in relation to tourism and this would be a real boost to that.

“This area used to be on a land frontier and one of Obama’s themes for the election was breaking down social borders.

“I think it’s only a matter of time as well before Bill Clinton returns and Gerry Adams confirmed as much to me on St Patrick’s Day,” he said.

“Bill confirmed to him that he intends to return and that he is still committed to the promise he gave to come back last year.

“From a tourism point of view it would be brilliant and I’d like to think that Ray Carroll of the Louth Economic Forum has some links with America too.”

Meanwhile Dundalk Town Councillor Eamonn O’Boyle, who lobbied strongly to bring Bill Clinton back here for the 10th anniversary of his visit in December, said he would love to see the Obama visit happen but said that the upcoming facelift of Market Square - whose work gets underway today (Tuesday) - could be a hindrance to any such plans.

He said, however, that “Dundalk should put in a bid” nevertheless.