A GR-8 excuse for some gossip

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland -  Monday 17th June 2013 - ''Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye.'''Northern Ireland Executive Ministers Arlene Foster and Michelle O'Neill greet President Barack Obama as he arrives in Northern Ireland for the G8 Summit in Enniskillen. Also pictured are Lord Lieutenant Joan Christie; Minister of State Mike Penning and Michele Obama.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - Monday 17th June 2013 - ''Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye.'''Northern Ireland Executive Ministers Arlene Foster and Michelle O'Neill greet President Barack Obama as he arrives in Northern Ireland for the G8 Summit in Enniskillen. Also pictured are Lord Lieutenant Joan Christie; Minister of State Mike Penning and Michele Obama.

I really shouldn’t give out about the average human being’s capacity for out and out nosiness. Nosiness, in one form or another, is the reason we sell papers.

And wasn’t the G8 coverage this week just a big nosiness love-in.

Sure, there was Syria, tax evasion and all that political awkardness between America and Russia, but when it all came down to it TV licence holders and newspaper readers really just wanted to know what Mrs. Obama had for her lunch in Finnegan’s pub.

In case you missed it, the menu consisted of smoked bacon and cabbage, cottage pie, salmon and chicken and ham with mozzarella.

I have to admit I’ve been totally captivated by the blow by blow accounts of the movements of the First Lady and her daughters. Their social schedule got equally as much coverage as the summit itself on RTE news.

Over the course of the whistlestop visit we discovered that Michelle Obama was very keen to teach her daughters about their Irish heritage, but looking at the pair of them as they stood in Trinity College’s famous Long Room, the seemed as if they’d have been happier checking out the new Man of Steel movie.

They looked as interested as the average 12 and 14 year- old should be in a big room full of books in an ancient university, and that is not very interested at all, really.

Looking at them, quiet and well behaved as they were, for the first time I think I considered how hellish a thing it must be to be the child of the US president.

It was all downhill for the Obama sisters from there on in.

On Tuesday, they were given a guided tour of the ancient monastery at Glendalough and a talk by yet ANOTHER historian, and then it was on to a pub for lunch with the U2 frontman. Admittedly, when I was 14, I would have been very impressed at the prospect of private lunch with Bono. That, however, was 1994.

I imagine the girls would have been way more excited had it been WILL.I.AM or somebody such. For them, Bono must be a dreadfully uncool relic from their parents’ CD collections.

The only other musical element to the tour for the Obama ladies was a performance of Riverdance at Dublin’s Gaiety Theatre.

Nosiness being nosiness, a nation watched on, posies in one hand, phone in the other, hoping to catch a glimpse of the presidential trio.

But leave out the fact that their da’s the most powerful man in the world and pub lunches and history talks aside, what you really saw was two girls who are at that awkward ‘we’re too cool to be on holidays with our parents,’ stage. And all the Bonos and bacon and cabbage in Ireland can’t do a thing about that.