JFK 50 Celebrations
The visit to Ireland of US President John F Kennedy 50 years ago this month was a pivotal moment in Irish history and was celebrated by a series of events in Dublin and Wexford. One of the main highlights of the JFK50 programme was the lighting of the Emigrant Flame in New Ross, County Wexford. The flame taken from JFK's grave at Arlington cemetery was lit by the Taoiseach and members of the Kennedy family.
A multimedia exhibition entitled JFK Homecoming which tells the story of JFK’s visit through iconic photographs, as well as original archive footage, was opened by in the National Library by Arts Minister Jimmy Deenihan who also presented a certificate of Irish Heritage to JFK's daughter Caroline Kennedy. A new visitor centre at the Kennedy homestead in Dunganstown, the birthplace of JFK's grandfather Patrick was opened by OPW Minister Brian Hayes.
Merrionstreet spoke to some of those involved in the organisation of the programme, including Minister of State at the Taoiseach's Department Paul Kehoe who was one of the main coordinators of the events.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny with Caroline Kennedy at the Kennedy Homestead, Dunganstown
Minister of State at the Department of Defence, Paul Kehoe; Minister of State for the OPW, Brian Hayes; Caroline Kennedy, Daughter of JFK; former United States Ambassador to Ireland, Jean Kennedy Smith and Minister for Public Expenditure, Brendan Howlin are pictured at the JFK50 event in Dunganstown, County Wexford
A lecture on the significance of JFK's visit took place in Iveagh House on Wednesday 19th June, which you can watch below: