A FLAME taken from the eternal one on John F Kennedy's grave has arrived in Ireland
More than 30 members of the Kennedy family will be in the country over the next few days for a series of engagements to commemorate the 50th anniversary of his June 1963 trip to Ireland.
Caroline Kennedy, JFK's daughter, met President Michael D Higgins at Aras an Uachtarain yesterday as celebrations began.
The flame, lit from president Kennedy's grave in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, will be used to light the new Emigrant Flame at a ceremony in his ancestral home of New Ross, Co Wexford.
Paul Kehoe, Government chief whip, travelled from America with the flame. "The journey of this flame from the grave of president Kennedy to the land of his ancestors and finally to the spot where his great-grandfather stepped on board an emigrant ship is a symbolic one," he said.
"This flame will now continue on its journey in the safe hands of the Naval Service where it will be used to light an emigrant flame in New Ross."
Mr Kehoe and a Defence Forces' colour party arrived in Dublin Airport yesterday with the flame. Lieutenant Commander Conor Kirwan, captain of the LE Orla, will take the flame in a miner's lamp on the naval vessel to Wexford.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Caroline Kennedy and JFK's sister Jean Kennedy-Smith will light the Emigrant Flame tomorrow.