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“A Memory for a Lifetime” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Kennedy Homestead

Kennedy Homestead
Dunganstown, New Ross, Ireland
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Ranked #4 of 12 Attractions in New Ross
Type: Historic Sites, Cultural
Attraction details
Newport, Oregon
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“A Memory for a Lifetime”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2014

This is the last of several reviews, I will offer about a 6 week visit to the Republic of Ireland.The reason,it was the most powerful experience,and I fully suspected it would be.I choose to walk to the Kennedy Homestead, from New Ross, so that I would have time to carefully reflect beforehand.
Everything about the Homestead/Museum, including my delightful conversations with the receptionist and with the Curator { and Kennedy relative } Patrick Grennan, reinforced my conviction of what a profound tragic loss the world suffered when his blazing talent was taken from us on that horrific day in Dallas.
The Museum and grounds are so peaceful,filled with Kennedy history and centered on that magical day he visited his Celtic family in the summer of 1963. I literally had a cup of tea, just a few feet from where J.F.K. shared one with his family.
The whole site is deliberately understated, but laced with nuance. The humble roots reveal themselves in classic restoration and simplicity. The grace,eloquence,vision,and lasting impact of a emigrant's great grandson floods one's memories.I know that President Kennedy views this project with a classic thumbs up, and offers us that unforgetable subtle smile that so capitvated those of us privileged to have lived when he so well captained our ship of state. Please visit,absorb,and reflect, it will provide a memory of a lifetime.
Gerard Hughes

Visited May 2014
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62 reviews from our community

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English first
Wexford, Ireland
16 reviews 16 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2014

Quite some distance off the main road outside New Ross. The building itself has been well thought out incorporating the Original Kennedy homestead. The museum was comfortable to move around and was very informative. There was a small cafe, but it was closed the day I was there.

Visited February 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
89 reviews 89 reviews
42 attraction reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
“Linking the past with the present”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2014

A journey back in time of the visit by JFK. fifty years ago.This must be one of the most famous attractions I have visited in Ireland as I always had a great admiration for the Kennedy. Dynasty.The homestead is recreated to the time of the famous visit and contains a lovely visitors centre and and very friendly staff. A must for the history buff.

Visited July 2013
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Dublin, Ireland
Top Contributor
238 reviews 238 reviews
115 attraction reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
174 helpful votes 174 helpful votes
“A Well-Presented Picture of JFK's Roots....”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2014

A few years ago we tried to visit the site of President Kennedy's ancestral home, but without success. We were therefore delighted to be able to go there this time - March 2014.

Let's go back : we're old enough to have been around when John Fitzgerald Kennedy became President of The United States - one of us as a young teenager was actually at Dublin Airport when the great man flew-in from Berlin, and still remembers being enthralled by his vigorous, personable presence (the word "charisma" wasn't in the vocabulary then, but in retrospect, we would definitely apply it!) We also fondly remember the television coverage of the President's visit to Dunganstown, which we recall as being well-organised and quite touching.

So, having between us visited the Kennedy Library in Boston, the Kennedy Museum in Berlin, and, of course, the sad site in Arlington Cemetery, we wanted to get a "feel" for what was (despite the tragic ending), the starting-point of "an Irish-American dream". This was, after all, the site from which JFK's great-grandfather emigrated in 1848, and within a few generations, a descendant of a Roman Catholic man from a modest background in Wexford, Ireland, became the 35th President of The United States.

So, with a bit of preparation - we went online and booked tickets - we finally got access to the hallowed site in late March 2014. Well done to whoever enabled co-operation between the remaining local cousins of the late President and our Irish "Office of Public Works" - in this instance providing a service similar to that of the U.S. Parks Service! The result is a compact but adequate "Interpretive Centre" adjacent to the (very few) remnants of the 300 year old buildings from which JFK's ancestor emigrated.

When we arrived, the site "Curator" Mary, was friendly and welcoming. Her job was to give us an introduction to the exhibition at the "Centre", and indicate the layout of the other (older) elements of the site. She did this extremely well, explaining that there's only one very small piece of the "original house" still there, while there are "stables" from the same period. As we discovered then and later, Mary had clearly read-up on the story of the Kennedys, and was more than able to answer relevant questions.

What the "Visitor Centre" does very well is present the story of John F. Kennedy's quite basic roots, while also showing his ancestors' progression in the economic & political fields in the U.S., ultimately leading to this man becoming U.S. President.

The various chart and audiovisual displays work well. One of the problems the Centre clearly had was a limited number of REAL mementoes - when you boil it down, there's the cup and saucer JFK used when he was here in June 1963, and the Rosary Beads & "Dog-Tags" Mrs Kennedy gave to Mary Anne Ryan after the funeral in November 1963, and not much else. Despite all that, the Centre has managed to put together a clear and comprehensive picture of the Kennedy family's ancestry and their progression in the U.S.

For us, one fascinating and slightly poignant exhibit was a Lee Enfield Rifle. The connection with JFK is a "Guard of Honour" of Irish Army Cadets (trainee officers at Ireland's equivalent of West Point) which the President encountered during his visit to Ireland in June 1963 - they shouldered similar weapons in an elaborate ceremonial drill which hugely impressed him, such that he later not only sought and obtained a filmed version of this drill, but enthusiastically frequently screened it at The White House. In planning President Kennedy's funeral later that year, Mrs Kennedy requested the attendance at Arlington Cemetery of a contingent of Cadets, to perform the same drill - a unique performance by non-U.S. military on American soil. (We remember explaining all this to some Americans when we were all at the excellent Arlington Cemetery Visitor Centre some years ago...)

Overall, we spent just more than an hour at Dunganstown, and as people who are "Kennedy Fans" we found it a very enjoyable experience. If we had a disappointment, it was that (i) there wasn't so much as a basic leaflet given to visitors who all pay a fee to visit, and (ii) DVD material on President Kennedy's memorable visit to Ireland, or any similar material, was not on-sale - perhaps in "high season" this type of souvenir is available for sale?

Visited March 2014
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Waterford, Ireland
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Not what I was expecting”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2014

I popped out here just to educate myself on the local tourist attractions, and I was pleasantly surprised by the homestead, it really wasn't what I was expecting. I thoroughly enjoyed the exhibition, it's very interesting and Lynda was so nice and very informative.

Visited March 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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