Monday 18 December 2017

Stunned Horror: the reaction to the assassination in Boston

Dr Michael Kennedy

On November 25, 1963, Ireland's Consul General in Boston, Gearóid ó Cleirigh, reported to the Irish Ambassador to the United States of America, Thomas J Kiernan, the 'stunned horror' in Kennedy's native city as news of the president's death had spread on November 22.

ó Cleirigh sent, "with the greatest sense of sorrow", to Mayor Collins of Boston and the people of the city, his deepest sympathy on Kennedy's "tragic death". A "pall" hung over Boston as flags were lowered to half-mast and an atmosphere of national mourning spread.

Special services were held over the weekend by all faiths in Boston. Archbishop of Boston Cardinal Richard Cushing delivered a "brief and moving eulogy" and travelled to Washington to "comfort the stricken family".

Dr Michael Kennedy is Executive Editor, Documents on Irish Foreign Policy, Royal Irish Academy, www.difp.ie

Irish Independent

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