independent

Wednesday 16 April 2014

JFK's historic homecoming remembered after 50 years

DECADES before online genealogists traced Barack Obama's ancestors to an Irish village, we had John F Kennedy, writes Eimear Ni Bhraonain.

Patrick Kennedy, his great grandfather, left Dunganstown, Co Wexford, for the US in 1848.

Yesterday, the historic visit of JFK to his ancestral homestead was remembered. It's 50 years since the 35th US President sat in the farmhouse where he had a cup of tea with his second cousin, Mary Ryan.

His oldest living Irish cousins have returned there, to where a programme of events to commemorate the 'JFK 50' was unveiled.

Kitty Kennedy and Anna Rowe (nee Kennedy) are looking forward to the official opening of the new visitor centre at the Kennedy homestead.

The women's late father, Jim, was a third cousin of JFK.

Junior minister Brian Hayes met the Kennedys yesterday – and he also attended the John F Kennedy Arboretum in New Ross.

He said a "permanent exhibition" on the life and times of JFK will be situated in the Arboretum.

Irish Independent

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