July 28, 2021

The Homecoming 2

The 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.

Gathering Event – June 22nd

In June 1963, President of the United States of America, John F. Kennedy, global inspirational leader, returned to the nation of his forebears and his ancestral home in New Ross, Wexford and ignited the spirit of a nation.



3.15 p.m. The Homecoming Parade begins its journey through the streets of New Ross
5.00 p.m. Homecoming Parade finishes on Quay
5.15 p.m. Guests of Honour arrive
5.40 p.m. Reception of An Taoiseach – Guard of Honour by Naval Service
6.00 p.m. The Ceremony of the Emigrant Flame commences with guests of honour An Taoiseach, Endy Kenny, T.D.,  Caroline Kennedy & Jean Kennedy Smith
6.05 p.m. Flame is taken from Naval Vessel LE Orla and brought to Kennedy Monument where it remains until final act of ceremony
6.15 p.m. Invited artists, performers, interviewees will take to the stage including, Anne Doyle, George Hook, Colm Toibin, Judy Collins, Michael Flatley, Michael Londra, Extreme Rhythm and New Ross and District Pipe Band.
7.30 p.m. The Torch is transferred along boardwalk to Emigrant Memorial.  This transfer of the Flame will be performed by Special Olympic Athletes and other representatives of Community/Local Government.  The Emigrant Flame will be lit by An Taoiseach, Caroline Kennedy and Jean Kennedy Smith.
7.40 p.m. Closing speeches by An Taoiseach and Caroline Kennedy and/or Jean Kennedy Smith
7.55 p.m. Close of Ceremony 

50 years on New Ross celebrates and remembers this momentous occasion in Ireland’s social and political history and realises the possibility inspired by President Kennedy during his visit to New Ross.  The town realises John F. Kennedy’s dream of returning to Ireland by bringing The Eternal Flame from the Arlington Cemetery in Washington home to Ireland, to burn forever brightly on the newly developed quayside at New Ross.

The day begins with the Homecoming Parade; a community based street theatre performance celebrating the emigrants’ story. The Parade leads to New Ross Quayside where an Taoiseach Enda Kenny, T.D will officially open the New Ross Quayside development for Quality Contents and unveil the Kennedy Trail.

The starting point of the Kennedy Trail will be the lighting of the Emigrants Flame concluding ‘the journey’ of The Gathering Torch to New Ross.

Opening of the Kennedy Homestead – Official opening of the Kennedy Homestead Visitor Centre at Dunganstown by Taoiseach Enda Kenny T.D.

Visit by An Taoiseach to JFK Arboretum, JFK Arboretum Tree planting ceremony in remembrance of the JFK visit to Ireland in 1963.

It is hoped that the events, such as bringing home the Gathering Torch will, recall the JFK homecoming in 1963 and how that visit captivated the spirit of a nation; honour John F. Kennedy’s memory and his inspirational leadership; create a sense of place for visitors to the Kennedy Homestead and lineage in Dunganstown; reignite the potential of Ireland’s global reach through its Diaspora; remember and mark the tragedy of his untimely death in November 1963, and create a tangible legacy of the 1963 visit for a global audience.