Obama in high spirits at tree-planting ceremony

US President Barack Obama took part in a tree-planting ceremony in the grounds of Áras an Uachtaráin today.

Schoolchildren then rang the Peace Bell unveiled in the grounds of the Áras in 2008 by Mrs McAleese to mark the 10th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.

The Obamas chatted and posed for photographs with the youngsters before leaving for talks with Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

The ceremony to plant the Irish oak took place about 50ft from a sequoia planted in 1963 by President John F Kennedy.

Mr Obama was met at Farmleigh Taoiseach Enda Kenny, and his wife, Fionnuala.

The President, the Taoiseach and Tánaiste are to hold talks in the drawing room which officials have said will cover “all matters of a national interest”.

It is understood one of the Taoiseach’s aides arrived at Farmleigh ahead of the meeting carrying a hurley.

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