WASHINGTON--President Obama will explore his Irish roots while visiting Ireland next week; his great-great-great grandfather on his mother's side is Irish.
At a briefing on the trip Ben Rhodes, deputy National Security Advisor was asked about Obama's mother's side of the family.
Said Rhodes, "The President, researching his background, was able to trace his mother's side of the family back to Ireland, and specifically to Moneygall. I believe that it is -- we could confirm this -- but I believe it's a great-great-grandfather -- three greats.
"So he has roots in Ireland and in Moneygall. Moneygall is a town of under 300 people in Ireland. It's -- I've seen reports about the bloodlines that extend across the town and people who may be related to the President. So it's certainly quite likely that in a town of that size that is so deeply rooted in that part of Ireland that there are people who share those ties. I couldn't say with certainty who -- the nature of those relations, but we certainly expect it to be a robust topic of discussion with the residents of Moneygall when the President is able to stop by and pay a visit."