JFK ‘eternal flame’ arrives in Dublin

Torch will light emigrant monument for 50th anniversary of US president’s visit

The JFK 'Eternal Flame' was brought on board the L.E. Orla this morning. The Irish Navy will bring the flame to New Ross this afternoon.


An eternal flame taken from the grave of former US president John F Kennedy arrived into Dublin airport today ahead of the 50th anniversary of his visit

It is the first time since the assassination of Kennedy in 1963 that the family has allowed a flame to be taken from the Kennedy grave at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington

JFK’s daughter Caroline Kennedy and sister Jean Kennedy Smith, as well as Taoiseach Enda Kenny, will use the torch to light an emigrant flame in New Ross on Saturday.

It will symbolise all the emigrants, including JFK’s great-grandfather Patrick Kennedy, who left Ireland to start new lives in the US, the UK, Australian, Canada and other countries across the world.

Minister of State at the Department of Defence Paul Kehoe returned this morning from Washington with a colour party from the Irish Defence Forces.

The flame was passed from the Defence Forces to the Irish Naval Service in a ceremony. The Navy will take the flame from Dublin to New Ross on board the LE Orla.

Also greeting the flame were staff and children from Scoil Mhuire National School in Campile, New Ross. “It is particularly poignant that some of their relatives were present fifty years ago in Dunganstown when President Kennedy visited the homestead,” Mr Kehoe said.

The flame was also met in Dublin airport by Minister of State for the Gaeltacht Dinny McGinley, the charge d’affaires from the US embassy John Hennessey-Niland and the Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces, Lt General Sean McCann. He thanked the US embassy for their assistance in organising events for the week to commemorate the visit of JFK.

Members of the Kennedy family, including Congressman Joe Kennedy III, were among those who took part in the ceremony at Arlington on Tuesday when a member of the defence forces took the flame.

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