President John F. Kennedy in New Ross

Last Updated: November 21, 2013

chamberThe New Ross Town Council was announced as the national winner of the Gathering Ireland 2013 – County Gathering of the Year category.

The Homecoming event won a fiercely contested category.

The Chambers Ireland Excellence in Local Government Awards are run in conjunction with the Department of Environment.

The award was graciously accepted on behalf of New Ross Town Council by an Cathaoirleach, Cllr Niamh FitzGibbon and Town Manager, Eamonn Hore.

Also in attendance on Wednesday 13th November, at the Award Ceremony in Dublin were Cllr Michael Sheehan and Town Clerk, Anthony Bailey.

Congratulations to all those involved in the Homecoming Event.

New Ross Announce Details of JFK Remembrance Event for November 22

President Kennedy

President John F. Kennedy Lays Wreath at John Barry Memorial in Wexford, Ireland during his visit in June 1963 – New Ross town will host a ceremony of Remembrance on November 22, 2013; this is the closing event of the year of the JFK50 Ireland.

 New Ross Town Council today (November 12th) announced details of the town’s 50th anniversary memorial event ‘The Remembering’ which will take place in the town on November 22nd, to remember and to celebrate the life of President John F. Kennedy.

JFK 50 ‘The Remembering’ is the last in a year long programme of events to commemorate the 35th President of the United States of America, John F. Kennedy and his visit to New Ross on 27th June 1963.

On the November 22nd in 1963, while on a campaign trip President Kennedy was shot and killed.  The world mourned for an inspirational leader.

Announcing ‘The Remembering’ events New Ross Town Manager Eamonn Hore said, “This is a simple, understated and respectful public memorial commemorating President Kennedy’s life. It marks the close of the year of the JFK50 in New Ross and though this is a poignant occasion it has been a wonderful year and we are very thankful to everyone who joined in the JFK50 during the year of The Gathering, in particular every member of the Kennedy family. We are delighted that Chargé d’Affaires of the United States of America, Mr. Stuart Dwyer will attend the Wreath Laying and Memorial Mass on November 22nd . Cathaoirleach Niamh FitzGibbon has issued an open invitation to everyone to be part of this commemoration.”

On Friday, November 22nd a short ceremony will take place at the Emigrant Flame during which wreaths will be laid.  The ceremony will commence at 5.50pm and at 6.00pm a Memorial wreaths will be laid on the Quay in honour of the 35th President whose life was cut short in Dallas at 6.05pm Irish time. The event on the Quay will pay tribute to the President and all those who left our shores never to return home.

The Emigrant Flame was carried to New Ross from ‘The Eternal Flame’ at President Kennedy’s graveside at Arlington National Cemetery earlier this year. On June 22nd , on the 50th anniversary of the visit of President Kennedy to his ancestral hometown An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Caroline Kennedy and Jean Kennedy-Smith set alight the Emigrant Flame monument, a symbolic world globe encasing the roots and branches of an Irish Oak tree, surrounded by a circle of black granite with a mariners compass carved into the structure on New Ross Quayside and the Dunbrody famine ship as a powerful backdrop.

On Friday, November 22nd, ‘The Remembering’ ceremony will also feature the premiere of ‘John Fitzgerald Kennedy – The Flame still Burns Brightly’ a specially composed piece of music by distinguished Irish composer Vincent Kennedy.  The piece was commissioned by New Ross Town Council for the event and covers the themes of JFK’s presidency. Members of up to ten different bands will perform this piece.

Following the laying of the wreaths a special Mass to commemorate the life of President Kennedy will be celebrated in the parish Church at 7pm celebrated by Bishop of Ferns Dr. Denis Brennan.

Chairman of JFK50, Cllr. Michael Sheehan added, “The theme of reflection and remembrance encapsulates the highs and hopes of both nations and a fitting tone to close the year. The year has elevated the profile of New Ross and given the area a boost. New Ross has a bright future and as a result of the year, we have a renewed confidence and optimism.”

These events are open to the Public with no invitation required.

Earlier in the day the JFK Trust will host a private remembrance ceremony, which will be held at the Kennedy Homestead in Dunganstown, New Ross at 3 p.m. on November 22nd to reflect on the life and work of President John F Kennedy and his continuing legacy. The Charge D’Affaires of the US Embassy, Stuart Dwyer will be present.

The Homecoming - June 22, 2013

Download the Programme for the Homecoming event which will take place at the Quayside, New Ross, Co. Wexford on June 22, 2013.

Key Event dates for the JFK50

June 18th - The Journey

June 22nd - The Homecoming

November 22nd - The Remembering

Click here for the Programme of Events

TWO new stamps marking the 50th anniversary of President John F Kennedy’s historic visit to Ireland have been printed.

Embargoed to 1500 Sunday June 2.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
Undated handout issued by An Post of two new stamps marking the 50th anniversary of President John F Kennedy's historic visit to Ireland. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Sunday June 2, 2013. The An Post images of the June 1963 visit were unveiled in Kennedy's ancestral homeland at New Ross in Co Wexford. See PA story POLITICS Stamps Ireland. Photo credit should read: /PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.Embargoed to 1500 Sunday June 2.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
Undated handout issued by An Post of two new stamps marking the 50th anniversary of President John F Kennedy's historic visit to Ireland. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Sunday June 2, 2013. The An Post images of the June 1963 visit were unveiled in Kennedy's ancestral homeland at New Ross in Co Wexford. See PA story POLITICS Stamps Ireland. Photo credit should read: /PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

The An Post images of the June 1963 visit were unveiled on Sunday 2nd June in the Kennedy’s ancestral homeland of New Ross in Co Wexford at the offices of New Ross Town Council. (For further details see our JFK50 – Stamp Launch section).

Summer in Wexford

JFK50 ‘Homecoming’ celebrations, New Ross Saturday, June 22

“I want to express my pleasure at being back from whence I came” President John F. Kennedy – June 27th 1963

New Ross town in county Wexford will raise the U.S. Flag high this mid-Summers eve as on June 22 ‘The Homecoming’ will see the town celebrate the life, memory and visit to Ireland of one its most famous sons President John F. Kennedy during the JFK50 Ireland.

knnedy in ireland

Visitors are in for a treat as the stage line-up for the celebrations in New Ross on June 22 features former RTE Newsreader and Wexford ambassador Anne Doyle, award winning author and Wexford ambassador Colm Toibin, Newstalk presenter and Kennedy fan George Hook, international singer and Wexford ambassador Michael Londra, world-renowned dancer, musician and performer Michael Flatley who will take to the stage to narrate the journey and significance of the Emigrant Flame before it’s symbolic lighting on the quayside. American Grammy award winning singer and songwriter Judy Collins will also entertain visitors from the stage with some wonderful pieces from her vast songbook.

Performances in honour of JFK and the Kennedy Family

Extreme Rhythm, the most hightly acclaimed percussion group in Europe, led by Wexford Town man Nicky Bailey, will also perform in honour of JFK and the Kennedy Family. World pipe band champions, New Ross and District Pipe Band will also entertain visitors on. There will also be the odd surprise for our guests on the day. Local groups and performers will also entertain the public from the stage on the quayside in the afternoon prior to the start of the main event.

Join us from 3pm as an all American style Homecoming parade will weave it’s way through the streets of New Ross, finishing at the Quayside at 5pm. The Parade finish will be closely followed by the arrival of An Taoiseach Enda Kenny T.D. with a guard of honour from the Irish Naval Service.

Lighting of the Emigrant Flame

The official ceremony of the lighting of the Emigrant Flame will take place as An Taoiseach and guests of honour Caroline Kennedy and Jean Kennedy Smith will take part in the lighting of the flame. The torch will be taken ashore from the LE Orla Naval vessel and brought to the Kennedy Monument on the New Ross Quayside. Following the stage celebration performances the torch will be transferred along the boardwalk to the Emigrant Memorial and there the Emigrant Flame will be set alight on the Quayside to burn forever brightly to remember all Irish emigrants.

Earlier in the day An Taoiseach will have officially opened the re-developed Kennedy Homestead, and planted a tree at the soon to be re-named John F Kennedy Memorial Park.

For visitors unable to attend the celebratory events on June 22 a brand new Emigrant Trail telling the Kennedy story will be on offer, allowing visitors to follow in the footsteps of President Kennedy and historic visit of 1963. ‘The Emigrant Trail’ features three key heritage sites on a 15-mile trail in the vicinity of New Ross Town in county Wexford.

Background

New Ross is the ancestral home of US President John F Kennedy. It was on the Quay of New Ross that his Great Grandfather, Patrick Kennedy, boarded a Famine Ship and commenced his journey for America.

President John F Kennedy received a rapturous welcome on an emotional visit to his ancestral home in New Ross, County Wexford, Ireland on 27th June, 1963.

President Kennedy’s visit to Ireland in 1963 was a pivitol moment in Irish history and is commemorated by a statue on the Quayside which was commissioned by New Ross Town Council and unveiled in 2008.

President Kennedy embodied the ultimate success story of the Irish emigrant family, from famine emigrant to the most powerful man in the world in three generations.

More than that, his visit and the inspiring speeches he delivered were to change forever how the Irish perceived themselves, particularly in relation to the emigrant experience and the Diaspora.

During his speech on the quayside he said;

“When my great-grandfather left here to become a cooper in East Boston he carried nothing with him except two things – a strong religious faith and a strong desire for liberty. I am glad to say that all of his grandchildren have valued that inheritance...”