The Kennedy Homestead – Ancestral home of John F Kennedy in Ireland and home to the JFK museum.

By | 2017-04-05T15:36:18+00:00 April 3rd, 2017|Places to Visit, Wexford|0 Comments

The Kennedy Homestead – ancestral home of John F Kennedy and home to the JFK museum.

Contact Details.

New Ross,
Co. Wexford.

Phone – 00353 (0)51 388 264
E-mail –
Website – Opening times.

Open Daily – 9.30am – 5.30pm.
The last admission to The Kennedy Homestead is at 5.00pm

Tour of The Kennedy Homestead and Museum

The tour of The Kennedy Homestead is a self-guided tour of the museum and access to some areas of The Kennedy Homestead buildings.


Adult €7.50
Senior €6.50
Student €6.00
Family (2 adults and 3 children) €22.00
Group Rates – Contact The Kennedy Homestead for Group rates.

The Dunbrody Famine Ship Experience and The Kennedy Homestead Joint Tickets.

Family  – €45.
Adult – €16.
Senior- €13.50.

Sinead’s Thoughts on The Kennedy Homestead and Museum.

The Kennedy Homestead is an essential location to see, for anyone visiting Ireland who is interested in history of The Kennedy Family. It is located just outside the town of New Ross, Co Wexford. Located in the peaceful countryside of Co. Wexford this museum is a marvel and full of glorious artifacts from The Kennedy Family including items that belonged to John F Kennedy. One of the items that stood out for me, were his rosary beads that Jackie gifted to the family after his death. These are the rosary beads that he had on his person at the time of his assassination.

poster of jfk
For me seeing this quintessential Irish farmhouse, is a silent reminder of what our emigrants achieved in the United States, coming from what would have been humble beginnings to become one of the most famous and powerful families in world history. The Kennedy Homestead is still a working farm and is still owned by cousins of John F Kennedy.As I walked around this informative museum it becomes clear how Irish society revered John F Kennedy and his achievements.

During his visit to Ireland this is the family home that he came to visit and discover exactly where he came from and got to know his Irish relatives. This is where the first Irish President of the United States came to have tea and visit with his Irish cousins and is quoted, as saying his trip to Ireland “was the best four days of my life” These are the grounds he walked around just 5 short months before his untimely death.
The Kennedy Homestead is a reflection of the special relationship that exists between Ireland and The United States.

yard of kennedy home

It is hard not to imagine the excitement of his family preparing for what was to become the most famous Presidential visit in Irish History. The whole county came out to visit with him and welcome him back to his homeland. For the Irish people John F Kennedy represented what was possible and he was considered an idol. The Kennedy Family are, a representation of the ultimate success story of an Irish emigrant and John F Kennedy was at the summit of that success. A descendant of a Famine emigrant family, who became the most powerful man in the world.

You will walk through the long history of the Kennedy Family and will see how strong their ties to Ireland are. The house where Kennedy visited is not open to the public as it is still a family home but the JFK Trust have reconstructed one of the outer buildings and transformed it into a replica of the room where he would have visited his family. This is an amazing location that should be put on everyone’s to do list in Ireland. The Kennedy Homestead is a testament to the Emigrates that left Ireland for a better life and created an eternally famous dynasty.

Remember you can visit The Kennedy Homestead in conjunction with The Dunbrody Famine Ship, located on The Quay is New Ross. As you pass the poignant and moving Emigrant Flame outside The Dunbrody Heritage Complex, representing that our emigrants are never forgotten. The Emigrant Flame was lit on the 22nd of June 2013 and its first light was transported from Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia, this light came from The Eternal Flame that burns at the graveside of President John F Kennedy and was lit exactly 50 years after he came home to Ireland.

sinead in kennedy homestead sitting

The Kennedy Family and their Irish Roots.

On the 27th of June 1963 Mary Ryan welcomed her cousin Jack to her home in Dunganstown Co. Wexford for the last time. Kennedy had made a visit to his homeland 16 years earlier, but on this occasion he was The President of the United States and the world was watching. This was where the legend of The Kennedys was born; his Great- Grandfather had left this area for Boston in 1849. He spent time with his family, enjoying tea and salmon sandwiches. On a trip to his ancestral home that was just 5 short months before his untimely assassination.

The Kennedys Irish Roots

Patrick Kennedy and Bridget Murphy from Co. Wexford were the first of The Kennedy Family to arrive to the shores of the United States and settled in East Boston. Patrick was a Cooper; he arrived in Boston in 1849, and found a Coopering job in East Boston, at the time known as Noddie’s Island. Patrick married Bridget in 1849, who was the cousin of his life long friend Patrick Baron. Patrick died in 1858 on November 22; the same date of his Great Grandson was assassinated, 105 years later.

John F Kennedy was the son of a prominent businessman and politician Joseph Patrick Kennedy and Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald-Kennedy a philanthropist and Boston socialite. His maternal grandfather was Boston Major John F Fitzgerald. John F Kennedy’s ties to Ireland were extremely strong with all his grandparents being the children of Irish emigrants. Kennedy was the second eldest of 9 children. Older brother Joseph and younger brothers, Robert and Ted. His sisters were Rosemary, Kathleen, Eunice, Patricia and Jean

jfk's family in the united states

Kennedy was well-educated attending private schools and was voted most likely to succeed; however he was known to be head strong and rebellious. Kennedy Studied at the London School of Economics but his ill health at the time forced him to return to United States, where he attended Princeton University but again was plagued by ill health. He graduated from Harvard with a Bachelor of Arts specializing in International affairs. He attended Stanford Graduate School of Business but he left to help his father write a book on his experiences as an American Ambassador.

In 1941 Kennedy was commissioned to the United States Naval Reserve at the rank of Ensign, assigned to Naval Intelligence, in Washington DC. Kennedy rose to a Junior Lieutenant and was assigned to a torpedo squadron, he also say duty assignment in Panama and in the Pacific Theater during World War II, including the Solomon Islands and Tulagi Island. For his time in theater, Kennedy received the Navy and Marie Corps Medal, awarded for Heroism; this was awarded this honor for his action during emery contact while serving on the Solomon Island.

Kennedy and his crew were performing routine nighttime patrols, at New Georgia, The Solomon Islands when he sighted a Japanese destroyer, when turning to engage the destroyer from PT-109 (Patrol Torpedo Boat), they were struck by the destroyer Amagin, killing 2 crew members. Kennedy asked his surviving men if they wanted to surrender and for them surrender was not an option.

jfk visiting home

They swam 3 miles to an island; Kennedy dragged a badly burned crewman through the water to the safety of the island and again onto a second location where they were eventually rescued. Kennedy and his Executive officer Ensign Leonard Thom were both awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for their actions and were also awarded The Purple Heart for injuries sustained during this engagement. Injuries, which plagued Kennedy for the rest of his life.

On his return to duty Kennedy took part in a rescue mission to retrieve 87 marines where were stranded on the Warrior River, Choiseul Island, which was held by Japanese Forces. Kennedy was sent back to the United States in 1944 because of his back injury. In 1944 he was released from his Active Duty status and retired in 1945. Kennedys other Military Awards included American Defense Service Medal, American Campaign medal, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal and World War II Victory Medal.

After the War Kennedy became involved in a Political Career. Kennedy ran for a seat in the 11th Congressional district in Massachusetts and won the seat by a large margin in November of 1946. In 1952 Kennedy ran for a seat in the United States Senate, representing Massachusetts. He ran against Henry Cobot Lodge Jr, whom he defeated by 70,000 votes. He then married his wife Jacqueline Bouvier, who would become one of the worlds leading fashion icons. For years Kennedy fought against terrible back problems but overcame every obstacle. He was elected to a second senate term in 1958.

During this campaign Kennedy rose to prominence thanks to a film by Robert E Thompson, Kennedy’s press secretary, titled The U.S. Senator John F Kennedy Story. In 1960 Kennedy stated his campaign for the Democratic Presidential primary election. Kennedy was nominated at the Democratic Convention as their Presidential candidate, with Lyndon Johnson running as his Vice Presidential candidate, who brought with him the Southern Vote.

campaigner in ireland - jfk

Kennedy and Richard Nixon where the first candidates to take part in the first televised United States Presidential Debates, this is historically when television started to have a influencing role in politics. Kennedy defeated Richard Nixon in one of the tightest presidential elections of that century. It is important to note that 14 electors from southern states refused to support Kennedy because of his outspoken support for the Civil Rights Movement.

John F Kennedy was the youngest man to have ever been elected president of the United States and of course he was the first Irish and Catholic President. He was the 35th President of the United States of America. His Inaugural address given on the 20th of January 1961 has echoed throughout history. “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”, He was a dynamic President surrounding himself with a cabinet of both experienced and inexperienced individuals.

During his short time in office Kennedy dealt with issue on Civil Rights, Cuba and the Bay of Pigs, The Cuban Missile Crisis, Communism, The Soviet Union, the building of the Berlin Wall, The Vietnam War and The Treaty to ban Nuclear Testing. Kennedy also had his “New Frontier” domestic Policy, which included ending racial discrimination and would supply federal funding for elderly medical care and education. Kennedy was also involved in the Apollo Space Programmed and NASA

President John F Kennedy was Assassinated in Dallas, Texas on Friday 22nd of November 1963 at 1230pm. Kennedy and his wife Jackie were on a political trip to the region on behalf of the Democratic Party. The President and his wife were traveling in a motorcade, amid high security when shots rang out.

The President is said to have been shot once in the back, with an exit wound in his throat and a second bullet struck him in the head. The President was rushed to Parkland Hospital for treatment but was pronounced dead. Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested and charged with the assassination, a charge he denied and was killed by Jack Ruby when he was to be transported, so he never saw the inside of a courtroom. Ruby was convicted of murder and died of cancer in 1967. The assassination of John F Kennedy has remained the subject of countless conspiracy theories for decades. Vice President Johnson was sworn in as the 36th President of the United States.

horse less carriage jfk funeral

Jacqueline Kennedy arranged one of the most spectacular funerals in United States History. Kennedy’s Requiem Mass was held on the 25th of November at The Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle. Kennedy was interred in Arlington National Cemetery. Lead to his resting place flanked by a military escort on horseback followed by the Rider-less horse. The Rider-less horse followed behind the caisson with Kennedy’s boots reversed in the stirrups, looking back on his troops for the last time.

An honor reserved for the highest ranks of the US Army and Marine Corps, for ranks Colonel and above, also the President as Commander in Chief and the Secretary of Defense. The Rider-less horse is a symbol that the warrior will ride no more. The Honor Guard at his graveside were the 37th Cadet Class of the Irish Army who he had seen 5 months earlier on his visit to his ancestral home. It is thought that in the years after his death over 16 million people visited the gravesite. In 1967 his remains were exhumed and reinterred at a new site within Arlington National Cemetery with a permanent memorial.

jfk assassination

Later upon her death Jacqueline and their 2 deceased infant children were buried with him. His brothers Robert and Ted were interred near him. Kennedys Grave is guarded by, an “Eternal Flame”. John f Kennedy and William Howard Taft are the only presidents who are interred at Arlington National Cemetery. Kennedy and his family have been the subject of countless books, conspiracy theories, movies and television series. There lives full of achievements as well as deep controversies have fascinated generations of inquisitive minds around the globe.

About the Author:

Sinead is the head of our Historical and Cultural research team. Sinead studied Archaeology with modular Anthropology, and has Post Graduate qualifications in Heritage Management, including History, Museum Management and Religious Studies.

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