Homecoming: JFK in Ireland, June 1963
by Helen Breen
Two years ago while in Dublin, I took a tour of Leinster House, a magnificent ducal residence now the seat of the Irish Parliament. At the end of our visit we were guided up an impressive marble staircase. There hung a beautiful green silk ceremonial flag belonging to New York’s “Fighting 69th’ Irish Brigade, led by Irish patriot Brigadier General Thomas F. Meagher during the American Civil War. Fittingly, the banner was a gift from the American people to the people of Ireland (with the permission of Congress) during the historic four day visit of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy to Ireland in June 1963.
Following his moving tribute to Meagher, Kennedy charmed the Parliament that day with references to his roots, and the special love of liberty that characterizes the Irish and American experience. He also paid homage to Dublin…
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