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Tuesday 24 April 2018

'Kennedy Lamp' carried onto shore in New Ross

Former Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith with the Eternal flame with Commodore Mark Mellettt flag officer naval services and Paul Kehoe TD.
Former Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith with the Eternal flame with Commodore Mark Mellettt flag officer naval services and Paul Kehoe TD.
Pictured abord The LE ORLA is Former Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith with the Eternal Flame with Paul Kehoe
Leaving The LE ORLA is Former Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith after passing over the Eternal flame to Lte. Chris Morgan.
Pictured abord The LE ORLA is Jean Kennedy Smith
Jean Kennedy Smith with the Eternal flame with Commodore Mark Mellettt
Jean Kennedy Smith with Paul Kehoe TD

Jerome Reilly in New Ross

Thousands of people lined the route for a parade followed by a poignant last act of potent symbolism.

The Emigrant Flame - taken from the  Eternal Flame at the grave of John F.Kennedy at Arlington last week - was carried ashore by former ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith encased in the ‘Kennedy Lamp’,

Mrs Kennedy Smith proudly, but carefully carried the lamp down the gang plank of the LE Orla flanked with a colour party drawn  from the Naval Service.

And then there was music and performance from writer Colm Toibin, Judy Collins, Michael Londra and the American Spiritual Ensemble and a host of others.

Later, the flame will be carried in a relay involving members of the US Peace Corps and Special Olympics Ireland. Michael Flatley narrated the journey of the flame and the emigrant experience.

At the end of the relay, the flame will be handed to An Taoiseach Enda Kennedy and members of the Kennedy family, to light the Emigrant Flame monument - a symbolic globe encasing the roots and branches of an Irish Oak tree surrounded by a circle of black granite with a mariners compass carved into the structure.

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