Obama: 'I Am Unhappy That I Will Not Get a Few Rounds in While I'm Here'
7:43 AM, Jun 17, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
Speaking this morning in Belfast, President Obama took the opportunity to mix in a little golf talk as he addressed Northern Irish youth.
"Northern Ireland is hosting the World Police and Fire Games later this year -- (applause) -- which Dame Mary Peters is helping to organize. (Applause.)," Obama said, according to the official White House transcript.
"Golf fans like me had to wait a long six decades for the Irish Open to return to the North last year. (Applause.) I am unhappy that I will not get a few rounds in while I'm here. (Laughter.) I did meet Rory McIlroy last year -- (applause) -- and Rory offered to get my swing 'sorted,' -- (laughter) -- which was a polite way of saying, 'Mr. President, you need help.' (Laughter.)"
Obama used the golf point to transition into making a broader point about social and political change in Northern Ireland.
"None of that would have been imaginable a generation ago. And Belfast is a different city. Once-abandoned factories are rebuilt. Former industrial sites are reborn. Visitors come from all over to see an exhibit at the MAC, a play at the Lyric, a concert here at Waterfront Hall. Families crowd into pubs in the Cathedral Quarter to hear 'trad.' Students lounge at cafés, asking each other, 'What’s the craic?' (Laughter and applause.) So to paraphrase Seamus Heaney, it’s the manifestation of sheer, bloody genius. This island is now chic," Obama continued.
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