Diarmaid Ferriter: The Irish debt to John F Kennedy

JFK paved the way for his successors to come to Ireland, but he also embraced his dual identity

21st May, 2017
US president John F Kennedy is accompanied by President Eamon de Valera on a visit to Ireland in 1963Pic: Getty

What do the Irish people owe John F Kennedy? A hell of a lot. To some extent, he was their success story. He reached the very top of American politics. He turned what was a calamitous event for his ancestors – the Famine, when his great-grandfather came over to Massachusetts – into a powerful narrative and he showed how that journey of exile and voyage could be turned into a success story.

Kennedy did a...

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