Daughter to mark 50th anniversary of JFK's visit by hosting Kennedy reunion

 

The 50th anniversary of President John F Kennedy’s visit to Co Wexford is among the Gathering events in receipt of €2 million in funding announced yesterday.

It is expected that President Kennedy’s only surviving child, Caroline Kennedy, will lead a reunion of the Kennedy family in Wexford.

The main event in New Ross will be the lighting of an eternal flame adjacent to the Dunbrody famine ship in New Ross on June 22nd attended by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

The upgraded Kennedy Homestead will be reopened along with a new boardwalk in New Ross.

The eternal flame will come from President Kennedy’s graveside in Arlington Cemetery where it will be lit on May 29th, his birthday, and then transported to Co Wexford.

The organising committee will receive between €13,000 and €15,000 from funding provided by insurers IPB and The Gathering through the Department of Tourism.

Some 1,322 events will be funded across the State, divided into 82 county flagship events and 1,240 smaller local community events.

Gathering project director Jim Miley said flagship events would get €5,000-€20,000 while smaller events would receive €500-€2,500 each.

No political interference

Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Michael Ring said the choice of Gathering events was free of political interference as county managers selected the flagship events for funding. He said critics of the Gathering were the “hurlers on the ditch” but communities had got behind it.

He also maintained that actor Gabriel Byrne’s criticisms of The Gathering had actually helped to raise its profile.

“Even the people who are against it did us a favour because everybody now knows what The Gathering is about.”