Obama arrives early in UK

Elizabeth Fournier
US PRESIDENT Barack Obama flew to the UK from Ireland ahead of schedule last night, as worries over ash from Iceland’s Grimsvotn volcano spreading to UK airspace forced an early departure.

Obama had planned to stay in Ireland overnight after visiting both Dublin and the small village of Moneygall, where one of his ancestors lived before moving to the US.

Crowds lined the streets in Dublin to hear Obama’s speech, in which he touched on Ireland’s economic woes but lifted the audience’s spirits, saying: “This little country that inspires the biggest things -- your best days are still ahead.”

He also pleased the crowds by translating his iconic election slogan into Gaelic, ending his speech by saying: “Is feidir linn” – or yes we can.

Obama’s visit to Europe is expected to last a week, with stops scheduled in the UK, France and Poland.