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JFK grave flame to make trip to Ireland

THE flame from JFK's graveside is to be brought across the Atlantic to his ancestral home.

The 'Eternal Flame' has been burning at President John F Kennedy's graveside in the US since March 1967 and will be used to light the emigrant flame in Kennedy's family home of New Ross, Co Wexford this weekend.

This forms part of the JFK50 celebrations, created to remember the president's visit to Ireland in June 1963.

Government Chief Whip Paul Kehoe is in Arlington, Virginia today to participate in the flame lighting ceremony, where he will be joined by members of the Irish and US defence forces.

"The flame is a symbol of tragedy but also of hope and what feelings could be more appropriate for the emigration story?" Mr Kehoe asked.

Upon completion of the ceremony the flame will be transferred to the specially commissioned 'Kennedy Lamps' for the journey to Wexford.