The area around the port city of New Ross (about 30km west of Wexford town on the N25 route) is host to three sites connected with the late American President John F. Kennedy. He was a tremendously popular figure among the Irish people, and these attractions illuminate the Kennedy family history and memorialize the man with the respect and affection of a proud family homeland.
The Kennedy Homestead
Actual Kennedy descendants still live and work on this farm, which was the starting point for Patrick Kennedy’s journey to America during the Great Potato Famine in 1848. The Cultural Museum and Visitor Center on the property chronicles the family story from Patrick down to his great grandson, President John F. Kennedy. Memorabilia and audio visual aids tell the story of the years of poverty and tragedy as well as the wonders of the brief period sometimes known as “Camelot”. President Kennedy visited Ireland, and this homestead, in June of 1963, shortly before his assassination. The visit has been recorded for posterity through videos and photographs that may be viewed at the visitor’s Center and Museum.
Nearby, you’ll also find the Dunbrody Ship, an exact replica of the ships that carried citizens like Patrick Kennedy to America during the years of the Great Potato Famine. On board, you can access actual passenger lists, containing millions of names, via computer. You can also experience interactive and audiovisual presentations that describe the immigrant experiences of some famous families, including the Kennedys, when they left Ireland circa 1848.
John F. Kennedy Arboretum
This 600+ acre park was dedicated to the memory of President John F. Kennedy in 1968. A heartfelt tribute to a man greatly admired in Ireland, it includes an ornamental lake, unique gardens, nature trails, and forests that display more than 4,500 different species of tree and shrub. The arboretum is more than a popular tourist attraction – it is a valuable resource for botanists and foresters.