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A Day I Will Never Forget

Anne Quealy

I first became aware of John F. Kennedy when he was elected President in 1960 when I was 15. When it was announced that he was to visit Ireland in June 1963 and was coming to New Ross only 15 miles from where I live in Waterford I had to be there. On the morning of June 27th my friend Finola, her Dad & I got the train to New Ross where we made our way to the Quays which were already crowded. We tried to get near the platform but no joy. We then climbed on some scaffolding which was where the photographers were. We had a great view from there. The public address system broke down so we didn’t hear a word of his speech. When he finished he went down to the crowd in front of the platform. We noticed that his car was at the back so we made our way there. There were speed cops on motorbikes at the car so to my regret I was afraid to lean across to shake his hand. He made us so proud to be Irish and he was proud of his Irish ancestry. My lasting memory of JFK was his hair shining in the sunshine, and his tan, he was so handsome I can still see him today. My interest in the Kennedy family deepened that day and has continued. I had the honour to meet Senator Ted Kennedy in Washington in 1977 and met Dave Powers at the Kennedy Library in Boston in 1980. I will be in New Ross again on June 22nd .

- in New Ross