'Kennedy Lamp' carried onto shore 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.