It has been revealed that the late American President John F Kennedy had planned a private family vacation in Ireland to visit his ancestral homestead in Dunganstown, County Wexford. President Kennedy had planned to make the visit to his cousins in Ireland without the spectre of media intrusion before his untimely assassination in 1963.
The US president made a much-publicised trip to Ireland in 1963 to his ancestral homestead in Dunganstown, near New Ross, Co Wexford, five months before he was murdered in Dallas, Texas. His great-grandfather Patrick Kennedy had fled the farm and the devastating Irish famine just three generations beforehand to start a new life in Boston.
Jacqueline Kennedy finally fulfilled the wish of her late husband in 1967 by returning to the homestead with their children Caroline and John.
JFK’s visit to Ireland led to tens of thousands of people flocking there year after year causing Patrick Grennan, a third cousin once removed of the US president, to open a makeshift visitor centre in one of the old farm buildings.
The visitor centre has since been transformed into a purpose-built museum which this year has added JFK’s very own rosary beads and his Commander-in-Chief dog tag which he was wearing at the time of his assassination.