President Kennedy arrived from Galway to Greenpark Racecourse on the outskirts of Limerick, on his last stop before leaving Ireland at Shannon. Although Limerick had not originally been on the itinerary, Lord Mayor Frances Condell had campaigned tirelessly to have it included – and succeeded.
JFK’s maternal ancestors had come from Co Limerick, so a visit was more than appropriate, and many Fitzgerald cousins were among the crowds who same to see him made a Freeman of Limerick City. After Mayor Condell’s speech, JFK concluded his own remarks with words made terribly poignant by his assassination later in the year: “This is not the land of my birth but it is the land for which I hold the most affection, and I will certainly be back in the springtime.”
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