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Hollywood star John C Reilly delights staff at Offaly’s Barack Obama Plaza on return visit

This wasn’t Reilly’s first visit to the Irish American presidential pit-stop

John C Reilly with staff

Neil Fetherstonhaugh

The Irish American actor, John C Reilly, startled delighted staff at the world-famous Barack Obama Plaza near Moneygall, Co Offaly after he dropped in for a visit.

The Hollywood star, who was on his back from presenting the IFTAs in Dublin, stopped in to the motorway service station located on the border of Offaly and Tipperary, near the ancestral home of former US President Barack Obama.

Barack Obama Plaza said in a social media post on Monday, May 8: “John C Reilly made Obama Plaza his destination of choice (again) as he visits Ireland!"

"John was happy to stop and be pictured with Cathal & Kinga today,” they added, alongside a photo of the actor with two staff members.

However, this wasn’t Reilly’s first visit to the Irish American presidential pit-stop.

"We were delighted to have John C Reilly in," the plaza said on social media back in January 2019.

"Like everyone else he had to get a selfie & a Supermacs."

The plaza, that opened in 2014, three years after Obama's visit to Ireland, features a bronze statue of Barack and Michelle Obama that was unveiled at the site in 2018.

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Reilly was attending the IFTAs on Sunday night in Dublin, where he presented the award for Best Film, which went to ‘The Banshees of Inisherin’.

The Illinois native has strong Irish roots and served as the International Guest of Honour at the 2022 St Patrick's Day Parade in Dublin.

Speaking the day before the parade, Reilly said it had a “deep meaning” for him as an Irish American.

“I know that my father who is somewhere watching right now couldn’t be more proud,” he said at the time.

“You know, I have always been a big supporter of Ireland. I have come here many, many times over the years; I have vacationed here, I have worked here but it feels especially important to come here now to let people know that Ireland is open for business again.”

Reilly made an appearance on The Late Late Show while in Ireland for the festivities in 2022, where he performed heartfelt renditions of the Irish classics ‘Raglan Road’ and ‘The Wild Rover’.

He has always been a big supporter of Ireland and had previously attended the St Patrick’s Day celebrations in his home city with his Irish father.

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