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Countess Ann Griffin-Bernstorf presents Ros Tapestry to President Obama

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PRESIDENT OBAMA'S RELATION FEATURES ON PANEL

THE INTERNATIONALLY renowned Ros Tapestry, featuring one of President Barack Obama's ancestors, was looked upon in sheer amazement by the First Lady during the American Presidential visit last week.

Michelle Obama was taken aback in astonishment as she viewed the intricate Ros Tapestry panel during her brief visit to Farmleigh last Monday.

The project tells the history of the development of early medieval Ireland under the influence of the Normans and the particular panel the Office of Public Works organised to be displayed in Farmleigh featured a distant ancestor of the US President - Hervey de Montmorency.

Entitled ' The Landing at Bannow', the panel depicts Hervey de Montmorency seated on a horse and carrying a standard with the de Montmorency arms, four spread winged eagles.

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According to Countess Ann Griffin-Bernstorff from the Ros Tapestry Project some years after the panel was finished the Ros Tapestry discovered through the Kilkenny archives that Hervey de Montmorency was one of Barack Obama's ancestors.

'As it was a relevant panel we sent it up to Farmleigh along with a précis of the work so the Obama's would know what they were looking at,' explained the internationally known artist. ' The Tapestry was the one thing Michelle Obama stopped at and was astonished. She seized Barack Obama and said to him ' you are not to go another inch anywhere unless you see it'. She was able to tell him what the panel was about and point out his ancestor and he was very interested in that,' added the Countess.

' The Tapestry was the one thing Michelle Obama stopped at and was astonished. She seized Barack Obama and said to him ' you are not to go another inch anywhere unless you see it'. She was able to tell him what the panel was about and point out his ancestor and he was very interested in that,' added the Countess.

According to the Ros Tapestry project Hervey de Montmorency arrived in Ireland in 1169 when he landed with the first Norman Knights at Bannow Strand. He was the nephew of Strongbow, Earl of Pembroke, the future king of Leinster.

In 1172 he granted land to the Cistercian order who founded at an abbey at Dunbrody outside New Ross. The abbey was consecrated by Herlewym, bishop of Loughlin and nephew of Hervey de Montmorency. In his later years he became a monk and retired to a Cistercian monastery in Wales.

from New Ross Standard