Dáil observes moment’s silence in memory of John F Kennedy

TD recalls the ‘great shock and numbness’ felt across the globe 50 years ago

The Dáil has observed a moment's silence to mark the 50th anniversary today of the assassination of US president John F Kennedy.

Fianna Fáil TD Barry Cowen called for the moment's reflection before he introduced his Local Government (Town Centres) Bill, which aims to give local authorities increased powers for the revitalisation of towns across the State.

Recalling the US president, he asked “that we remember this day in world history, which is a very poignant date with the 50th anniversary of the brutal assassination of John F Kennedy”.

He recalled the Irish-American president had just six months earlier “visited this country.... his ancestral home and.......the Garden of Remembrance and indeed address the Houses of the Oireachtas”.


He said "we remember fondly that time in our history and his family's and the inspiration he gave to many in that time" and he recalled "the great shock and numbness that was felt, not only in America of course, but obviously in Ireland and indeed throughout the world".

After the brief silence, Minister of State Jan O'Sullivan joined Mr Cowen in acknowledging the 50th anniversary of Kennedy's death.

She highlighted the "warm relationship there is between this country and the United States, largely the responsibility of his presidency though lots of other factors as well".

She said for anyone who visits Leinster House, "one of the highlights is the flag that commemorates the Irish people who died in the American Civil War on both sides".

Marie O'Halloran

Marie O'Halloran

Marie O'Halloran is Parliamentary Correspondent of The Irish Times