What would Moneygall's favourite son, former US President Barack Obama, make of it all? Excitement hit fever-pitch in the village of his ancestors in Co. Offaly last Saturday, as the local soccer team Moneygall FC Legends took on a Republic of Ireland Masters XI side to mark the official opening of a new football pitch, part-funded by the National Lottery.
The Republic of Ireland side included former international boys in green and household names Stephen Hunt, Mark Kinsella, Stephen McPhail and Curtis Fleming, all who lived up to local expectation with a high-scoring game. They beat the local side 7-2.
Cheering the locals from the sidelines was President Obamas eighth cousin Henry Healy. He has been involved with Moneygall FC since he played at underage level with the club.
Before the game, the ribbon was cut of the new Moneygall FC soccer pitch and development, part- funded by the National Lottery Good Causes fund, by John Delaney, CEO of the FAI.
Approximately 30 cent in every Euro spent on National Lottery games goes back to Good Causes all over Ireland, supporting organisations and individuals in the areas of health, education, sports, the environment, arts and heritage.