JFK 100 Celebrated in New Ross
By Adam Farley, Deputy Editor
August / September 2017
More than 350 people attended a special ceremony at the John F. Kennedy Arboretum near New Ross, County Wexford, on May 29, marking the hour of the birth of America’s 35th president 100 years ago that day. Minister with Responsibility for Defense Paul Kehoe, Wexford County Council chairman Paddy Kavanagh, and U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Martin, who is stationed at the American Embassy in Dublin, all laid wreaths at the memorial plaque dedicated to John F. Kennedy’s roots in the county. Kennedy’s great-grandfather left New Ross in 1848 for Boston. JFK himself returned to the Kennedy Homestead in 1963, marking the first time a sitting American president made an official state visit to Ireland. Éamon de Valera dedicated the arboretum in Kennedy’s honor in 1968.
Kennedy’s visit to his homestead, Minister Kehoe told Wexford People, “reflected the importance which he placed on family and heritage. It is a testament to the Kennedy family and the people of Wexford that this connection not only endures, but continues to grow in strength, particularly in this centenary year.” ♦