Fine Gael Clare TD and Chairman of the Oireachtas Foreign Affairs Committee, Pat Breen, today (Friday) attended a wreath laying ceremony to mark the 50th anniversary of the death of US President John F Kennedy. The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Eamon Gilmore TD, laid a wreath on behalf of the Government at the US Embassy in Dublin.
“I was honoured to attend today’s ceremony, which was a very moving occasion. The Last Post was played, as the flag at the Embassy was lowered to half-mast. This was followed by a lone piper playing Amazing Grace in the presence of the pallbearers from the Irish Army’s Cadet Class, who were present at JFK’s funeral.
“The Kennedy family have Irish links dating back to the late 1800s, when JFK’s great grandfather emigrated to America from Co. Wexford. The Irish people have always felt a deep connection to the Kennedy presidency, and indeed anyone who was alive 50 years ago will no doubt remember where they were when they heard JFK had been assassinated.
“The Irish Government is marking the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s death as a sign of respect and recognition for his political achievements. JFK’s election was a huge moment for Irish Americans, who saw a member of their own community elevated to the highest political position in the United States.
“JFK was an inspirational leader, who was extremely proud of his Irish roots. I have no doubt that his legacy opened many doors for Irish Americans, and I am sure that he will be fondly remembered by the Irish people on this important day.”