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Memories of JFK

Peter Smith

As this is the 50th Anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s visit to Ireland in June of 1963, I have been requested to write down on paper any memories that I may have or where I was during this historic visit. Now 50 years later, the only memory that I can still recall is giong to a dance in Lough Ramor Farmers Ballroom a popular dancing venue at that time here in Virginia where many famous bands performed.

There on that night I met the late Ned Router, on New Street, Virginia (Tony Router’s father) where we talked about the historic four day visit of President Kennedy. His speeches were very highly intelligent, they gave new hope, instead of despair, to everyone young and old. Kennedy’s message was that one day Ireland would no longer have to suffer the loss of so many of its sons and daughters through the haemorrhage of emigration from its shores. Also, that we would be free from poverty with equality and liberty for all its people. I often ask myself now ‘was all this just a dream?’, very far removed from what is happening in the Ireland of 2013.

- in Arrival in Dublin