The Kennedy's - From Ireland to USA

The Kennedy's - From Ireland to USA

The Kennedy’s from Wexford


Four miles from New Ross is the birthplace of Patrick Kennedy, great-grandfather of JFK, the first Irish Catholic President of America. John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

The family farm consists of the original barn and a part of the original cottage. The current homestead was built in the early twentieth century. The barn is part of the Homestead Exhibition.


A purpose built stone barn houses the museum. It offers visitors an audio-visual guide through the Kennedy ancestry to today. The museum is family friendly and interactive. In the barn is a replica of the living area from the time of JFK’s visit in 1963. You can walk around the yard and enter all buildings except the house itself.

The displays in the museum effectively showcase highlights of the Kennedy Family history, John F. Kennedy’s own life and the fondly remembered visit to the homestead in 1963. Also on display there are the teacup JFK drank from during his visit, his rosary beads and an official signed portrait of JFK with the presidential seal.

It is a truly inspiring glimpse into the lives of the Kennedy through the ages.

Memorial Park & Arboretum

The John F. Kennedy Memorial Park is 623 acres of parklands with a unique collection of over 4000 different types of trees, a lake and it is home to moorhen, mallards and rudd. The park boasts a treehouse, playground, a café, woodland walks and guided tours. It is the exact same size of Arlington National Cemetery. There is a permanent exhibition at the park, The Life and Times of JFK. The features of the park symbolise the things that were important in the Kennedy’s life – family, heritage and climate. A beautiful park to enjoy on a beautiful day.

The fountain is engraved with one of John F. Kennedy’s infamous quotes:

Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.

Irish Ancestry

A young man from Dunganstown, New Ross in County Wexford left Ireland as a famine emigrant. This young man was Patrick Kennedy. He arrived in Boston to take a post as a cooper. His friend from home, Patrick Barron, helped him get settled in his new life on Noddle’s Island (East Boston). Barron’s cousin, Bridget Murphy, followed them to the New Land. Patrick Kennedy married Bridget in September 1849.

The couple had five children. The youngest of them PJ, or Patrick Joseph, married Mary Hickey, daughter of Corkman James Hickey. Their son Joseph Patrick was born in June 1888. He married Rose Fitzgerald in 1914. They had nine children. The second of whom was John Fitzgerald Kennedy, known as Jack and later dubbed JFK.

Jack and his older brother, Joe, both joined the US Navy at the onset of World War II. Joe was deployed to Europe and Jack became a Lieutenant and was deployed to the Pacific. 1943 saw Jack injured in the line of duty. In 1944 Joe was killed in duty.

The loss of his older brother gave Jack reason to reconsider his future. Ultimately he decided to pursue a career in politics, much like Joe had wanted to do. Their family was no stranger to politics.

Political Race

1946 ran for Congress and succeeded

1952 elected to US Senate

1952 married Jacqueline Bouvier

1957 Pulitzer Prize for autobiography, ‘Profiles in Courage’

1957 Daughter Caroline born

1960 nominated as Democratic Party Presidential candidate

1961 became President of the USA aged 43, youngest ever president and also the first Catholic US President

1961 Son John Jnr born

1963 Visit to Ireland

1963 Shot, and later died in Dallas Texas

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