St Patrick may be the patron saint of Ireland, but the Irish migration the world over has made it a truly global affair.
With the countrymen known for their kindness of spirit and love of a tipple, the ‘Day of the Irish’ is a byword for a great party – and an opportunity for all to proudly flaunt their Irish connections.
Such is the draw in the United States that almost every President in memory has been keen to embrace their Irish heritage.
From Kennedy and Nixon to Reagan and Clinton, leaders of the free world have been making a habit of enjoying a welcome on the green isle.
And no bigger welcome was there than for President Obama. Visiting in 2011, he paid a trip to his ancestral home in Moneygall, Co Offaly… and the good relations have been flowing ever since.
As is often the case, Irish representatives have been flying to America on St Patrick’s Day to pass on the good wishes of the people to the US President.
But the resident of the Oval Office got something a little more special in his final year in office.
To mark the tie between the two countries, one of the gifts acting Taosieach Enda Kenny gave to President Obama was a pair of personalised sterling silver cufflinks.
During the St Patrick’s Day celebrations, the Irish Government selected a pair of cufflinks from the National Museum of Ireland collection which was then presented to Barack Obama.
The cufflinks were made by a casting process which were then hand finished and hand polished using traditional methods of silver and gold-smithing, before being hallmarked in Dublin Castle.
The jeweller commissioned for the job, Declan Killen, said:
“The museum rang me saying that they were taking a pair over to the White House for St Patrick’s Day and I believe Enda Kenny brought them over to President Obama. It is just fantastic.”