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Monday 11 December 2017

New Ross gets ready for arrival of Kennedy clan this afternoon

New Ross 50th anniversary of visit by JFK. Victor Furness sang in the choir for JFK when he visited.
New Ross 50th anniversary of visit by JFK. Victor Furness sang in the choir for JFK when he visited.

Graham Clifford in New Ross

FINAL preparations are taking place in New Ross, as the town gets ready to mark the 50th anniversary of the visit of John F Kennedy.

Members of the Kennedy family started arriving there this afternoon and later six of JFK’s close relations will hold a press conference explaining why these celebrations mean so much to them.

 

Amongst them will be Kathleen Kennedy Townsend (the eldest child of Robert ‘Bobby’ Kennedy) Douglas Kennedy (Bobby Kennedy’s son) , Sydney Lawford (daughter of JFK’s sister Patricia and British actor Peter Lawford) and Grace Kennedy Allen (grand-daughter of Edward ‘Ted’ Kennedy).

 

The Taoiseach will attend tomorrow’s celebrations and will open a new visitor’s centre at the Kennedy Family Homestead in nearby Dunganstown which cost €1.5m to build.

 

“It’s all coming together and the finishing touches are just being added so that we’re ready for the opening tomorrow” Patrick Grennan, third cousin of JFK who lives at the homestead, told the Irish Independent.

 

Designer Jack Harrison has put the new Kennedy exhibition together and Patrick Grennan believes the distinguished guests will be delighted with what they see.

 

“Jack and his team did an amazing job, they carefully selected 50 pictures which they wanted in the exhibition and they tell the Kennedy story so well. A lot of those come from private collections and are very striking.”

 

An eternal flame, taken from the graveside of JFK in Arlington cemetery, will arrive in New Ross on board the LE ORLA tomorrow before the Taoiseach, JFK’s daughter Caroline Kennedy and his sister Jean Kennedy Smith will transfer it to a new Emigrant flame memorial.

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