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Businessman will fly Kennedy clan to Ireland for JFK anniversary visit

US-based businessman Pearse Lyons will be flying members of the Kennedy family to Ireland in his private jet for the 50th anniversary of JFK's visit to the country.

Mr Lyons, a Dundalk native who's the founder and president of Kentucky-headquartered Alltech, uses a $50m (€38m) 18-seater Gulfstream 550 jet to visit clients and the company's operations around the world.

He told the Irish Independent that he'll be using the jet to bring a number of members of the Kennedy family to Ireland for celebrations in June. John F Kennedy visited his ancestral home of New Ross, Co Wexford, while here in 1963.

The Government will also be flying in some members of the Kennedy family.

"It was interesting to recently hear again JFK's passion about what could happen in Ireland. His great grandfather went to Boston as a cooper. My great grandfather was a cooper too," said Mr Lyons.

The celebrations in June will include the re-opening of the Kennedy Homestead visitor centre at Dunganstown outside New Ross by the Taoiseach.

Among the senior members of the Kennedy family expected to travel to Ireland for the celebrations are former US Ambassador to Ireland, Jean Kennedy Smith, who is JFK's sister, and Maria Shriver. Ms Kennedy Smith is also an honorary Irish citizen.

Alltech is also spending about €1.2m to host an event in Dublin in July as part of the Government's Gathering initiative. It could bring as many as 3,000 delegates to the city and will showcase products and technology developed by Alltech and a number of other events.


Irish Independent