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Wednesday 20 March 2019

JFK fans urged to take trip down memory lane

Sarah Stack

THE public is being urged to take a trip down memory lane to mark the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's visit to Ireland.

Stories, photos, mementoes and thoughts on the 1963 visit are wanted as part of the JFK Homecoming Memory Project.

Jimmy Deenihan, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, said the social media campaign, website and an exhibition at the National Library of Ireland are a fitting way to commemorate the trip.

"President Kennedy had a close personal connection to Ireland, his visit had an extraordinary impact on Ireland, and many people here felt a strong affinity with and warmth for President Kennedy," he said.

"Kennedy himself referred to Ireland as 'not the land of my birth, but it is the land for which I hold the most affection'."

"This website and social media campaign allows people to share their experiences from this historic time and to relive the historic visit from 1963."

President Kennedy visited Ireland from June 26 to 29.

In Dublin alone, half of the city's population thronged the city centre in an attempt to catch a glimpse of the American president.

Elsewhere, 100,000 people travelled to see him in the cities of Cork, Limerick and Galway, while in Wexford, the town's 12,000-strong population swelled to 30,000 on June 27, the day he visited the Kennedy family's ancestral home in Dunganstown.

Members of the public who remember the visit are asked to submit their memories to or visit the library tomorrow.

Contributions will form part a multimedia exhibition JFK: Homecoming, which will run from June 20 to August 13 in partnership with the US Embassy, the JFK Presidential Library, the National Archives and RTE.

A number of famous faces also feature on a video tribute to the anniversary, including Micheal O Muircheartaigh, Sharon Corr, Jamie Heaslip, Roddy Doyle, Robert Sheehan, Jim Sheridan, Laura Whitmore, Moya Doherty, and Mark Pollock.

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