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FAILTE (as never done before or since)

Nick Roche

On the day President Kennedy came to New Ross a group of boys from sixth class in the local CBS primary school were in the local GAA grounds as the Marine helicopters landed. They were dressed in their sports gear of white shirts and flannels and red tie and red and white belts. Their job was to lie on the grass at the top end of the pitch and form the word FAILTE in human letters as the helicopters came in to land. No one told us how big or how loud these machines were or how low they would be as they passed over us but we got a huge fright. Later we were delighted to hear that the President had seen the FAILTE from the air as the helicopters circled the field. After they landed the President asked to meet the brave boys who lay down under the incoming helicopters. He told us we were all brave enough to be U.S. Marines and shook hands with lots of us.

- in New Ross