Thursday 8 October 2009
And Michelle too!
It seems that not alone does President Barack Obama have Offaly roots but so too his wife Michelle. See here for the story as recorded at Irish Central.
And here in the NEW YORK TIMES
And CHICAGO TRIBUNE
See Megan Smolenyak's research here - On video
This time however the story is not a cause for pure celebration, but a reminder of the despicable practice of slavery, for it seems if the research is correct, (Knowing Megan Smolenyak I am sure it is meticulously researched), that Michelle's ancestor was a young slave girl Melvinia Sheilds who was once traded for $475. Melvina would go on to have children with an Irish-American slave-owner named Shields whose ancestral home is in Ballysheil, County Offaly.
I wonder how the President and First Lady will greet this news - We cannot rewrite history but one has to wonder is this a chapter that will prove too painful to revisit or would a Presidential visit provide an opportunity for the First Lady to highlight the ongoing crime of human trafficking in which Ireland is complicit.
One thing is certain; It is a fascinating twist on this already intriguing story.