Obama leaving Ireland early as ash cloud looms

The president was scheduled to spend Monday night in Ireland, but will fly to London instead

By Julie Pace
Published May 23, 2011 6:10PM (EDT)
U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama drink Guinness beer as they meet with local residents at Ollie Hayes pub in Moneygall, Ireland, the ancestral homeland of his great-great-great grandfather, Monday, May 23, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak) (AP)
U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama drink Guinness beer as they meet with local residents at Ollie Hayes pub in Moneygall, Ireland, the ancestral homeland of his great-great-great grandfather, Monday, May 23, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak) (AP)

The White House says President Barack Obama will leave Ireland early due to safety concerns over a cloud of ash from an Icelandic volcano that is moving toward Europe.

Obama had been scheduled to spend the night in Ireland and fly to London Tuesday morning. Instead, he will head for London Monday night.

Officials say Obama's schedule in London, where he will spend two days, has not been affected at this point.

An ash cloud from a different Icelandic volcano forced Obama to cancel a trip to Poland last year. He is scheduled to visit Poland on the last leg of this four-country, six-day European trip.


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