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Celebrations set to continue in JFK ancestral home

CELEBRATIONS of the 50th anniversary of John F Kennedy are set to continue in his ancestral home in Wexford this week after his daughter Caroline and grandchildren Jack, Tatiana and Rose left locals spellbound on their visit.

Members of the slain president's family were in New Ross to help unveil the Kennedy Homestead Visitor Centre.

The centre tells the story of JFK's 1963 visit and the Kennedy family's roots in New Ross; Patrick Kennedy's emigration from the area in the 1840s and the family he established in Boston which was to have such an impact on American history.

A flame lit from the eternal flame on the JFK's grave in Arlington Cemetery in Virginia was also brought to Ireland and used to light a new feature in front of the Dunbrody famine ship and visitor centre, a replica vessel to the ship of the same name on which Patrick Kennedy left Ireland for Liverpool and then to America in the 1840s.

This week will see the launch of a commemorative JFK coin by the national mint in the Tholsel Town Hall on Thursday as well as the recreation of the historic visit half a century ago, where the retailers of New Ross will revisit the streetscape of 1963 as it was during the visit.

Come July 4, Independence Day in the US, a host of celebrations such as a reading of the proclamation of Independence and a re-enactment of the Boston Tea Party aboard the Dunbrody famine ship in the town of New Ross takes place.