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As it Happened. -

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(generated from captions) though they'll only average
10 miles per hour.

Dean Burri will earn
another 5,000 frequent flyer miles

and he'll have a lot
of company in the air.

One quarter of all the flights
in the world

will take off or land in
the United States,

and in the process,

airlines will lose
45,000 pieces of luggage.

The largest transportation
network on earth has its weak spots

and it's definitely showing its age.

But we've managed to keep it
up and running,

and for the most part, it still
gets us where we want to go.

As for me, my journey across
the country is about to end

right where it started.

I'm heading back
to New York on the red-eye.

Just one more American on the move.

Supertext Captions by
Red Bee Media Australia
Captions copyright SBS 2012

Hello, I'm Ricardo Goncalves. It appears the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas militants may be in doubt. Medics report one Palestinian has been killed and 10 people injured when Israeli soldiers opened fire as they entered a disputed area along the Gaza-Israel border. Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi has been branded a 'new pharaoh' for granting himself sweeping new powers. Opposition groups have called for a million-man march later tonight in Cairo to protest against the decree. A man is dead after he was shot by police in the inner-Sydney suburb of Redfern. He was allegedly driving a stolen truck and hit two passersby in a pedestrian mall before being stopped by police. And nothing to see. The island near Australia's north-east cost which has been undiscovered. And I'll have a full World News Australia bulletin at 10:35. (Crowd cheering)

President Kennedy's 4-day visit to
Ireland in June 1963

would forever become ingrained
in our history and our memory.

In many ways, it concluded
what was an extraordinary story.

A story that began in 1848
in Ireland,

in a country
that was on its knees -

a million people dead on the land,

a million people gone
to all corners of the globe.

And it's a story that
will bring the Kennedys

from the coast of Ireland to the
coast of America and Boston Harbour,

and then on to Pennsylvania Avenue
and eventually the White House.

And after that, home,
back to Ireland.

1960s America was the age of dreams.

Expectations were high,
spurred on by a new president,

who demanded more of his nation.

Ask not what your country
can do for you.

Ask what you can do
for your country.

(Crowd cheers)

JFK'S youth and charisma
had captured

the imagination
of his country and the West.

His presidency seemed to represent
a world on the cusp of change.

Ireland, too,
hungered for that change.

Into our world of black and white

came the most powerful man
on the planet.

While the story of the visit
is well-documented,

I've always wanted to find out more.

I've always been fascinated
with Kennedy but...

was a visit to Ireland
important, really?

Why did he have such a profound
effect on us?

Did it affect Kennedy,
or was it just for show?

Was it sentimental or...

was he closing
a significant circle of history?

I've always thought about
the visit to Ireland

as the tale of two countries

and how their histories
were linked by Kennedy.

By looking at
Kennedy's homecoming,

I want to meet the people
who were part of that story.

One man who was
at the president's side

in the Senate,
in the White House,

and on that great trip to Ireland -

a man who was

but also his speech writer -
was Ted Sorensen.

He loved Ireland.
He wanted to see Ireland.

He was proud
to be Irish.

And, yes, maybe it was
partly sentimental,

but the trip as a whole was intended

to appeal to the people of Europe,

to win support from Europe
for his position

to re-examine the Cold War.

So that's why Kennedy
went to Europe.

That's why he made all of those
stops in Europe, including Ireland.

1963 was a time of great upheaval.

The world had only just turned away
from the threat of nuclear war

following President Kennedy's
blockade of Cuba.

Tensions between East and West
had never been so high.

The president was in Europe

to win support for his vision
of world peace.

All free men,
wherever they may live,

are citizens of Berlin.

And therefore, as a free man,

I take pride in the words
"Ich bin ein Berliner."

(Crowd cheers)

The next stop
on his European tour was Ireland.

We flew to Ireland,

and we left behind
the deafening roar of that crowd

still in our ears.

But he thought "Well, Ireland,
that's going to be some greeting."

The Kennedy visit came at a time

when Ireland was on the hinge
of the big transition, as it were.

There was a change in political
leadership from De Valera to Lemass,

and the 1950S had been
a really difficult decade -

more than 400,000 net emigration
out of the country.

Think of the decade that Ireland
had come out of at that stage.

The 1950S was the decade
of the vanishing Irish.

There was that sense
that the time had come

I suppose,

on a more isolationist mindset.

So the Kennedy visit
is important in timing

and in symbolising as it were
the new Ireland.

I think we have to remember

the amount of resentment
in Washington

about Ireland's neutrality
in the Second World War.

And this is only 18 years later.

And the idea that Ireland
decided to sit it out

while so many young Americans died.

(Patriotic music playing)

The Americans had been absolutely
livid with Irish neutrality.

That was something
that the Kennedy visit

was very important
in putting to bed, I think.

That would have been the most
important part of Kennedy's visit

for Lemass, for example;

was that sense that "You are now
back in the Western fold.

"We have forgiven you
for the neutral stance.

"America has forgiven you
for your self-imposed isolationism

"and your selfishness,"
as many would have seen it.

That's a very important part
of the visit

from a political point of view.

As President Kennedy arrived
on Air Force One,

there was a real air
of nervous tension

on the apron of Dublin Airport
that day.

We descended from the plane.

There was hardly a sound.

But Kennedy turned to me and he said
"Could we reverse these trips?

"We got a reception in Germany

"that I would have thought
we might get in Ireland,

"and we seem to be getting
a reception here

"like the one I thought
we might get in Germany."

It's important to remember,
of course,

that we weren't that long
an independent country,

that we were very small,

and here we were welcoming
the President of the United States.

So we wanted to take the whole
thing seriously.

But probably more important were
the eyes of the world looking on us.

We wanted to be taken seriously.

My first words of welcome to you
should be in our native language,

the language of your ancestors...

He was the young president
of the young republic,

coming back to
be greeted by De Valera,

almost an Old-Testament figure
in Irish freedom politics by now;

elderly, senior, almost chiselled
Mount-Rushmore-like, as it were.

So it was very rich in symbolism,

but also, for the Irish,
it indicated the fulfilment,

that all the prejudices
that had existed for the Irish

in the United States
had been overcome.

Eight of my grandparents
left these shores

in the space almost of months,
and came to the United States.

(Film projector whirring)

John F Kennedy became
President of the United States

just three generations after his
family had emigrated from Ireland.

The origin of the Kennedys

and Fitzgeralds
on the other side of the family

is the typical Irish-American story,

the story of a nation coming of age.

How far back can we go with
the Kennedy story,

and how
important was the fact

that they were leaving this wretched
country, as it was at the time?

What was amazing was how
the Irish immigrants made their way.

Of course, they first lived
in sort of ghettos.

They were cloistered together.

Very poor.
Very poor.

And the notion that this country -
the streets were paved with gold -

was always the inducement
to bring them over here.

But, of course,
it wasn't paved with gold at all

but a lot of hardship
and difficulty.

But there was opportunity.

By the time the founding father,
Joseph Kennedy Senior grew up,

his family had become pretty much
a middle-class family.

Joe Senior also married
into a family steeped in politics.

His wife Rose's father
was John Francis Fitzgerald,

better known as "Honey Fitz."

He was the first Irish Catholic
ever elected as Mayor of Boston.

I think politics and the Irish
are sort of synonymous;

certainly in Massachusetts
they are.

And, of course, we grew up, also,
with the idea that

the Irish were a little bit... um...

How would you say...
I guess it was a certain prejudice.

People associated Ireland
with sending over servant girls

and guys who did, you know,
the work on the streets.

And the Kennedys had lifted
themselves way out of this.

These were very grand people,

but, of course,
the name remained Kennedy,

the religion remained Catholic.

Yet it was Joe Kennedy's financial
support for President Roosevelt

which would eventually cast off
the label that he so hated.

The new ambassador to Britain,
Mr. Joseph Kennedy.

TV News interviewed him on his
arrival at the American embassy.

Just arrived in England
after a very pleasant trip...

He wanted this. This was something
that he was pressing for

because it was his way of,
in a sense,

entering into the highest
social circles.

Joe senior's ultimate ambition
for his family was the White House.

But the young JFK had never been
considered for a life in politics.

His older brother, Joe junior,
had been groomed for the role.

His untimely death as a bomber pilot
during World War Two

put the carefree Jack centre-stage.

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With the special pride that I feel

in my country,

which has been so generous

to so many immigrants

from so many different countries,

I want to say that I'm happy
to be here tonight.

Before leaving Dublin airport,

'An taoiseach' Sean Lemass introduced
President Kennedy to his cabinet.

These were people whose names
and personalities

would dominate Irish politics
in the following years.

On the previous evening,

the government narrowly survived
a vote of no confidence.

A well-informed Kennedy
joked aloud to the 'taoiseach',

"Are these the guys that kept
you in office last night?"

(Crowd cheering)

What started as a quiet, more
reserved affair in Dublin airport

changed dramatically
when the motorcade took off

for Dublin's city centre.

The waiting hours were nearly over,

and the people joined
to give a people's welcome.

They were everywhere.
They were up on the Ambassador roof.

They come from everywhere.

I got a great look at him,
you know, and I waved the flag.

I took the flag out, the smallest
one, and I was waving the flag.

And it was breathtaking.

Well, I thought he was gorgeous
and a real gentleman.

And me mother Catlin
brought me down

to see the President
of the United States,

and we walked slowly
down Sean McDermott Street

to this spot where we are now.

Atmosphere was electric.

People were applauding,
people were shouting.

There were people waving flags.

It was a treat I would never forget.

He was elegant.
He was like a film star.

And I always remember
that smile on his face.

It was beautiful.

He said to me that he could
see people in the crowds

mouthing a sentiment,

and he thought that in Ireland,

the women were saying "God love you"

whereas in Germany,

he thought some of them were saying
something a lot earthier.

NEWSREADER: And now here comes
President Kennedy's open car.

He's passed the bank of Ireland.

Now he's standing up,
he's waving.

He's smiling warmly.

The crowd roaring and cheering, and
now they're throwing all sorts of...

what would be, on Wall Street,
ticker tape,

but I'm sure here
it's only C.I.E. bus rolls.

And the crowd are attempting
to encroach onto the road

to shake President Kennedy
by the hand...

Documents released
a number of years ago show

that the Irish police were aware

of three potential
assassination threats on Kennedy.

Two had been phoned to the 'gardai',

and one had been sent
to the 'Irish Independent'.

One had said Kennedy would be shot

on his way from the airport
to Aras an Uachtarain.

4000 guards had manned the route

as he made his way
through the streets of Dublin.

So the Irish government
were very cognisant of the fact

that the eyes of the world
would literally be on them

during this four-day period.

When John F Kennedy arrived here
that Wednesday evening in June 1963,

it wouldn't have been the first time
he met Eamon de Valera.

At the end of World War Two,
Kennedy had left the navy a war hero.

Now, with an eye on
a career in politics,

the 26-year-old
travelled through Europe

as a reporter for the famous
Hearst newspaper group,

and it was on that trip

that he made his first visit
to Ireland in 1945.

This is an extraordinary document.

This is the original paper
on which President Kennedy -

when he was a young man,
as a journalist -

typed up his report of his day or two
that he spent in Ireland.

What I love about this document
is that when he'd meet people

that would become so essential
to the visit in 1963.

We see Kennedy's description
of what he calls

"the tall, angular figure
of Mr De Valera."

"De Valera made remarks that left
the situation, to many observers,

"as misty as this island
on an early winter's morning."

And then he talks about the civil war
and he says,

"and many have wounds
which still ache

"when the cold rains
come in from the west."

I mean, I don't know where he got
that from, but it's pretty nice.

And the kind of thing you might
expect from a young American with...

with ideals or certain ideas
of this country.

New Ross was a town that felt
closest to the president

on an emotional, historical,
and familial level.

It was from here that his
great-grandfather Patrick Kennedy,

set sail for America.

On the night he was inaugurated,
Kennedy sent a message to the town,

expressing his wish
to visit within weeks or months.

The atmosphere was electric,
there's no doubt about that.

And a wonderful reception that
he got on the quay side of New Ross

had to be seen to be believed.

The town's mayor, Andy Minihan,

had been responsible
for the visit to New Ross.

Andy was a wonderful character.

Just as we were going to start,
the public address went wrong.

Can you hear me now?
Can you hear me?

Some press man has walked on this.
We're in right trouble now.

And the whole world heard it.

And now, people of New Ross
and people of Ireland,

I give you President Kennedy
of United States.

(Crowd cheers)

When my great-grandfather left here
to become a cooper in East Boston,

he carried nothing with him
except two things:

a strong religious faith

and a strong desire for liberty.

And I'm glad to say

that all of his great-grandchildren
have valued that inheritance.

(Cheers and applause)

If he hadn't left,

I'd be working over at
the Albatross Company...


(Cheers and applause)

Or perhaps for John D Kelly.


In any case,

we are happy to be back here.
Thank you.

(Cheers and applause)

He struck me as an individual
that was really enjoying himself.

In other words,
he gave you the impression

that you were doing him a favour
by being nice to him.

He'd give you the feeling
you were the only one that counted,

the fella he was talking to.
That's a great gift of humanity.

Oh, indeed it is.

Not far from the quay at New Ross,

a woman and her two daughters
were waiting nervously.

Mary Ryan, the president's cousin,
was the strongest connection

between the White House and
the ancestral home in Dunganstown.

And here is President Kennedy
coming in,

and he's greeted there
by Mrs. Ryan and her daughters.

And the happy, smiling faces
all around...

In '63, they really didn't know what
they were letting themselves in for.

I suppose Ireland, as a country,
was probably very naive,

and the most powerful man in
the world arriving on your doorstep,

I suppose it was
very overwhelming for them

and I suppose they found it
very hard to take it in, you know.

It must have mattered enormously,
as president,

going back to the place
where your ancestors had come from.

Had to have meant something.

Looking today at the footage of
JFK's visit to the Kennedy homestead,

what many people
don't realise is that

he had, in fact, been to the house
once before, 16 years previously.

By 1947, John F Kennedy was
a freshly elected congressman

here in Washington,

but he was also a man
who needed a holiday.

His sister Kathleen had married into
the aristocratic Devonshire family,

owners of the beautiful
Lismore Castle in county Waterford.

So, for three weeks that year, JFK
packed his bags once more

for what would be his
second visit to Ireland.

Coming from where he was,

in terms of his father's wealth

and the luxury
that he was brought up in,

this wouldn't have been too alien;
different, certainly,

but the opulence he wouldn't
have been a stranger to.

The charm of Kennedy,

as much like somebody like Bill
Clinton, later on in their lives,

is that they are
deeply intellectually gifted,

so he was always going to be

an engaging person
to have at a dinner party.

Secondly, he was handsome,
which is apparently a great help.

And thirdly,
he had loads of money,

and quite frankly,
that's quite a heady cocktail

when you're 28 years old

and you're going to go to a castle
for three weeks in the summer

when you've just been elected
to the United States Congress.

I mean, there wasn't much
he could do wrong at that stage.

So I would imagine he had
a great deal of fun here.

Borrowing a car from the castle

and accompanied by socialite
Pamela Churchill,

Kennedy went searching
for his roots.

The drive would bring him to a small
farm in Dunganstown, County Wexford,

where he would meet a relative -
Mary Ryan.

My grandmother thought he was just

a strange American who
arrived that day,

and he
introduced himself as a Kennedy

and he was able to explain how
they were related.

She thought he was very "angish"
as she used to say.

It's a local saying around here,

that you're
just a little bit pale and skinny

and you need
a bit of feeding up.

The lady who he accompanied,
or at least who came with him

on that trip in '47, Pamela
Churchill, she looked around and said

that was pretty much...

"Just like visiting Tobacco Road"
is the quote.

She thought it was disgusting,
but he didn't like that.

Because suddenly, like anyone
who delves into their past,

you gain a sense of propriety
about a thing or a place

or even just a vestige
of your own personal family past.

And that's what he did,
and he kind of took a bit of -

not great offense,
but he just didn't like the tone.

Because he felt, well,
do you know what? This is me.

JFK: Mrs Ryan, should we cut this?

Yes. Yes. Cut your...
Cut yourself.


Well, I think it's an outstanding
memory for a lot of people

because he was very young and very
handsome and very funny and smart,

and he had a self-deprecating
sense of humour.

And, I mean, he was
the golden man, I think.

We want to express our thanks
to Mrs Ryan...

who er, she and her friends,
who cooked all this.

We promise we'll come only
once every 10 years...


And, uh, as I sit inside,

we want to drink a cup of tea
to all the Kennedys who went

and all the Kennedys who stayed.


I think we have to remember

that Kennedy's visit was a vacation
for him. It was a holiday.

There were those
close advisors to Kennedy

who advised him not to go to Ireland
because they didn't see

any political benefit
to going to Ireland,

and they'd have made the point that
you've already got the Irish vote

and this is a bit of an indulgence,
but he wanted to indulge himself.

It wasn't as though he was
visiting Cuba,

or Khrushchev was going to
bang his shoe anywhere.

This was going to be entirely
about the ceremony.

He didn't have to do any
negotiations with anybody;

merely kiss babies,
get photographed with De Valera

and wave at me.

I was taken out of school
by my father, so it was June,

so I would have still been
in national school,

and we were in a crowd.

But you could see him very clearly,

and the memory's very clear to me
that he was standing in an open car

and that he was the most
glamorous person I'd ever seen.

(Parade music playing)

It is as though we were living
in black and white,

and suddenly Technicolor,
something from the movies,

had come round the corner.

And therefore, those who may feel,
that in these difficult times,

who may believe that
freedom may be on the run

or that some made nations
may be permanently subjugated

and eventually wiped out,

would do well to remember Ireland.

(Cheers and applause)

The great American poet Robert Frost
always warned President Kennedy

that he should be a little less
Harvard and a little more Irish.

And as the days went past
on this visit to Ireland,

the president could see, in between
the cheers and the adulation,

there'd come a time where he'd have
to replace sentiment with politics.

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(Crowd cheering)

Certainly, the Irish visit was,

one could put it this way,
an indulgence.

It wasn't of strategic importance.

It wasn't a vulnerable spot
that needed to be shored up.

It wasn't Berlin.

But on the other hand,
it mattered to him.

And it did have the effect

that it provided
extraordinarily good footage.

It was the kind of image, untroubled
as it seemed by security -

walking around casually,
adored by ordinary people -

it was not going to do any harm
in an election year coming up.

For the average Irish person,
seeing Kennedy on TV, you know,

following the Cuban missile crisis

in 1962, and now seeing him
literally in the flesh,

it was something quite epoch-changing
in one way to Irish society.

I think this was
an important element in an Ireland

that was showing a different
side of itself.

But in practical terms,
in terms of politics,

it may not have made
that much difference.

It may have made a difference

70 million Americans were watching
coverage and footage of this visit.

That can't have done any harm
to Irish tourism.

To get a measure of Kennedy
as an iconic figure in history,

the presidential election of 1960

was the moment the world
started to take notice.

The Democratic Party calls the roll
for presidential hopefuls,

and first to be placed in nomination
is Senator John Fitzgerald Kennedy,


It strikes me as though you remember
meeting him quite vividly.

Yeah, of course.
Would that be fair to say?

Could you tell me about
that encounter?

I was struck by how little

he tried to impress me
with how important he was.

He didn't boast about being a war
hero or the son of a millionaire.

He didn't show off because
he was an elected official.

No, he was just a good guy.

We started out on a tour,
just the two of us,

to all 50 states
over the next three or four years.

And it was during that time
that he found response was good,

but it was not until '59 that
he said to me once in the hotel,

"I've been thinking about this.
I think maybe I... we can make it."

"Make what?" I said.

He said
"The presidential nomination."

I said
"You're just thinking that now?

"What have we been
doing out here all this time?

"I've always thought
we could make it."

NEWSREADER: The convention makes it
a Kennedy victory by acclamation

on the first ballot.

Despite his youth and other issues,
he's the man for the party.

Those other issues had asked America
to make a monumental decision.

Not only would America
elect its youngest president,

and the first Irish-American,

but most importantly,

the nation's first-ever Catholic
to hold that office.

What ensued was the closest election
in American history.

There was discussion that if
a Catholic gets to the White House,

he'll have dual loyalties,

not just to this country,
but to the Pope in Rome.

And John Kennedy understood that
he had to disarm that antagonism.

He said, "I am the Democratic
nominee for president,

who happens to have been
born a Catholic."

After he won the election,
we were all at Hyannis Port

and we had been there
listening to the returns.

So we went out and
played touch football.

And my father came out on the porch
and he said, "Now, lunch is ready.

"It's 1.15. Lunch is ready."

So everybody said, "Yes, Dad."

And then Jack and I were
the last to come up.

and he said,

"Doesn't he know I'm President
of the United States?"

I said "I guess not yet."

He was many, many firsts:

he was the first Catholic, the first
Irish-American. He broke the mould.

He blazed a trail
for the likes of Barack Obama;

suddenly, anyone could be president.

When Obama was elected,
I could see it

on the faces and in the actions
of African-Americans.

What a sense of elation they had,

and I think that's very much
the way Irish-Americans felt

when John Kennedy
not only became president,

but succeeded in the presidency,

and then went to Ireland and said
"Ah, criticism be damned;

"I'm going there because
this is what I want to do

"and because I'm an Irishman,

"and I'm happy and I'm proud
to show that I am."

The president's visit to Arbour Hill

was arguably the most
politically significant.

Here was the mecca
of Irish independence -

the graves of the 1916 leaders.

This wasn't
just another stop along the way.

This was a statement.

(Shouting orders in Irish)

Kennedy stood side by side

who had
fought for a united Ireland.

The big question was,

would the president tackle
the issue of partition?

But this, in fact, had been ruled out
well before the visit.

We completely overplay
the Irishness of John F Kennedy,

and when you look at how
he was raised,

he was raised as a New Englander.

He was raised by parents who were
actually anxious not to overplay

this Irish connection
or this Irish card.

And Kiernan knew that, as ambassador
in Washington, and he made the point

that when he delicately brought up
this subject of partition,

Kennedy looked as if he was having
another headache.

Had you ever talked to him at all or
mentioned the problem of partition?

Has he ever said anything
about it before?

The Republic of Ireland
was not in NATO.

the United Kingdom of Great Britain
and Northern Ireland, was.

Partition was
easily avoided as a sore thumb,

while at the same time, the more
general statements on liberty

and the long Irish freedom struggle

could be easily incorporated
into what he had to say.

President Kennedy would later
talk about how moved he was

by the drill in Arbour Hill
that day.

Within five months, it would take on
a greater significance.

Thankfully, Kevin McCourt of RTE

managed to get the permission of
the Ceann Comhairle of the Dail

to televise Kennedy's address,

because people were able then
to see this great orator at work.

This was somebody who was made
for the television.

He knew how to work the media.

He knew how to craft and deliver
very, very intelligent speeches.

There would have been others
who made a contribution to those,

but he made them his own.

(Cheers and applause)

JFK: I am deeply honoured
to be your guest

in the free parliament
of a free Ireland.

If this nation had achieved

its present political and economic
stature a century or so ago,

my great-grandfather
might never have left New Ross

and I might, if fortunate,
be sitting down there with you.


Of course, if your own president
had never left Brooklyn,

he might be standing up here
instead of me.


What was your sense,
as two gentlemen

who were in the dail chamber
that day, of his speech?

From listening to him,

you would think he had been
in Ireland for his lifetime.

And this came across
in his speech as well,

that he knew more about Ireland
than we probably knew ourselves.

His whole speech was very
illuminating and very emotional.

And he was speaking to us...
speaking about our future.

But looking back on it now,
I wonder if Kennedy

had have got a second run
as President of the United States

before the trouble started
in the north of Ireland.

I think Kennedy would have had
a better way of communicating

to people who were not hostile
to each other

after 30 years of violence.

And no country contributed more
to building my own

than your sons and daughters.

They came to our shores
in a mixture of hope and agony.

I met Arthur Schlesinger
shortly before he died in New York,

and just for conversation,
said to him,

"By the way, I saw Kennedy
when he came to Ireland,"

and he said
"Oh, you know what we did?"

And he started to talk, and
the thing he wanted to tell me was

that they were
terribly disturbed

about the censorship of books

and the way in which
Irish writers were treated.

And they thought - especially with
someone like James Joyce,

and that the way in which
his books were viewed -

the phrase that Schlesinger used was

"the Irish government
thought he wrote dirty books."

And they thought that when they
came, they should influence this

and do something about it so
that the reference to James Joyce,

Schlesinger said,

it was put very deliberately in
by the Kennedy people

as a signal to the Irish government
that they were to stop doing this.

They left behind hearts, fields,
and a nation yearning to be free.

It is no wonder that James Joyce
described the Atlantic

as "a bowl of bitter tears."

Did he have any corrections to make?

Yes, he had one that's notable.

Of course, it was secret
at the time,

and that is - there is
a beautiful quotation in there

about the importance
of little countries.

All the world owes much
to the little 5-feet-high nations.

The greatest art of the world
was the work of little nations.

The most enduring literature of the
world came from little nations...

The trouble with that
beautiful quotation

was that it came from
a former British prime minister

whom the Irish hated.

Yes. David Lloyd George.

David Lloyd George.

So Kennedy crossed out
the name David Lloyd George

as we sat there
on the plane and said,

"Just refer to it as
a master of the English language."

This is an extraordinary country.

George Bernard Shaw,
speaking as an Irishman,

summed up an approach to life.

"Other people" he said
"see things and say why?

"But I dream things that never were
and I say why not?"

It is that quality...

(Scattered murmuring)

It is that quality of the Irish -

the remarkable combination of hope,
confidence, and imagination -

that is needed more than ever today.

We need men who can dream of things
that never were

and ask "Why not?"

My friends,
Ireland's hour has come.

You have something to give
to the world,

and that is
a future of peace with freedom.

Thank you.


When you consider the optimism
that was there in 1963,

by 1968, 1969, in a relatively
short space of time,

that optimism has been dashed,
and yet, at the same time,

it was the America of Kennedy

that gave the most inspiration
and example

to the Civil Rights people.

Going to Ireland, I think,

signalled the extent to which

he felt he was in his metier,
that he had come into his own.

And when he speaks
before the Irish parliament,

he gives a brilliant speech,
which is full of literary allusions

and speaks to his intelligence
and his charm and his youth--

And his roots?
And his roots.

It was one of Kennedy's
finest orations.

However, there was a moment
of humour in his speech

that infuriated Eamon de Valera.

An entire passage disappeared
from all official Irish records

to the point where it was cut

from RTE'S official coverage
of the speech.

JFK: I regret to say that no one
has yet found any link

between me and a great Irish
patriot, Lord Edward Fitzgerald.

Lord Edward, however, did not like
to stay here in his family home

because, as he wrote his mother,

"Leinster House does not inspire
the brightest ideas."

(Laughter and scattered applause)

We were always going to lap up

his playing of the Irish
identity and of the Irish card;

lapped it up
to an embarrassing level

when you think of the garden party
that turns into this rugby scrum

and this desperate attempt to try
and get a touch of the president.

That event was a gathering of
1500 of the so-called

"great and the good of Irish society"
to a garden party at the Aras.

Well, the standard of dressing

amongst the women guests
here this afternoon

is really terrific,

despite the fact
that the afternoon...

There were tables in the garden,

and they're all supposed
to sit at the tables and wait

until he would round the tables

and shake hands with the people
at the tables.

But once he and President De Valera
appeared at the door,

and went towards the door
and blocked the door.

So they couldn't get him out.

Peace was called for.

They were asked again to sit down

until the president
would go round the tables.

Eventually, the third time,
he did come in

and we tried to push
as many back as possible

so that he could get into the lawn,

so it was a push-and-shuffle.

And I could see our president

and they were saying,
"Watch our own president!"

In case that he'd be knocked down,
you know.

His enthusiasm to meet the people
was a security nightmare;

in fact, American security

became more worried
about their man being jostled

than anything more sinister.

John and Jacqueline Kennedy

only ever came to Ireland
together as a couple once,

and that was in 1955

when Jacqueline convinced her
young senator husband

to come and speak to students
here in All Hallows College.

Despite the popular appearance
of John F Kennedy

as being healthy and fit,

the reality was
he was never a well man.

And on his last appearance in Ireland
before he became president,

it was this illness,
this unwell look about him

that was apparent
to one prominent Irish politician.

When you were near to him,
he didn't look quite so young.

In fact his face showed
certain signs

of the suffering he'd undergone.

I didn't notice
on that first occasion

that he looked somewhat worn.

Throughout his life,
Kennedy's health was poor.

His back was in constant pain,

and he suffered from what was
diagnosed as Addison's disease.

He was a very unhealthy young man,
and the Kennedys kept it hidden

because if it were known,

he never would have
gotten to the White House.

(Choir singing indistinctly)

When he landed, he was
greeted by my husband, Paddy.

You couldn't take your eyes
off him, really.

Well, what was it about him
that you found so attractive?

Well, he shook your hand
warmly. He looked at you.

You felt, well, he is happy
to meet me.

And the people were swarming
round. You could not protect him.

You couldn't. Impossible.

JFK: If, uh, today was clear enough,

and if you went down to
the bay and you looked west

and your sight was good enough,


I wonder if you could perhaps
let me know

how many of you here
have a relative in America

who you would admit to,
if you'd hold up your hand.

(Crowd cheers)


I was chasing and chasing
and chasing after him,

and eventually he got into the car

and I kept staring at him, hoping
he'd stare back at me, and he did.

And I pointed to the camera...

and pointed to him.

He nodded his head to say,

So I got in, lifted up
my camera,

and just as I lifted my camera,
I was flattened onto the seat.

Two fellas jumped on top of me.

So I just said
"I'm only trying to take a picture."

I heard Kennedy's voice saying
"It's okay, Jimmy. He's a friend."

So the two lads let me go.

And as you can see there,
they're still keeping an eye on me.

It was the age of innocence,
what I got away with.

And as far as I'm concerned,
the day Kennedy came

was the day that Galway changed

from being a sleepy town
to a striving city.

There was sort of a sadness
and a quietness,

just a pall
came over the people

when there
was no more chopper to be seen.

Why is that?

Just felt... I don't know
if it was a foreboding or what.

I don't know what it was,
but just this quietness descended.


And we all went away...
"Will we ever see the like again?"

And we haven't, really.

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The original itinerary
of the four-day visit

did not include Limerick.

Yet the city's mayor,
Frances Condell,

had broken down
every diplomatic door

to allow
the President to visit the city.

You see, Mr. President,

we, the women of Limerick
and county--

(Crowd roars)

...feel that we have a special
claim on you.

We claim
the Fitzgerald in you.

(Crowd roars)

May I repeat, we claim the
Fitzgerald in you, sir.

And we are extremely proud
of that heritage.

But in talking so much of
the Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys,

we must not forget one, another
woman who is dear to our hearts...

your lovely wife, Jacqueline.

(Crowd roars)

JFK: I asked your distinguished
Ambassador to the United States,

Mister Kiernan, I said,
"What is this county noted for?"

He said
"It's noted for its beautiful women
and its fast horses."

(Crowd cheers)

"'Tis it is the Shannon's
brightly glancing stream,

"brightly gleaming,
silent in the morning beam.

"Oh, the sight entrancing
thus returns from travels long,

"years of exile, years of pain,

"to see old Shannon's face again
o'er the waters glancing."

Well, I'm going to come back
and see old Shannon's face again...

(Crowd roars)

And I'm taking, as I go back to
America, all of you with me.

Thank you.

When he climbed up the steps

and entered into Air Force One
for that last time,

I think I was struck most by the fact
that he came to Ireland,

intrigued and interested
in his Irishness,

but he left Ireland
after those extraordinary days

utterly convinced of how important
his Irishness was to him.

It grew with every day
of the visit.

And while it was never going to be
a political experience,

it was always going
to be an emotional one

and a very important one.

He has been a most honoured
and most welcome guest,

probably the most honoured
and the most welcome

in the whole history
of Ireland.

And at the wish
of everyone here in Shannon,

and indeed, in the country as
a whole, as he takes his leave,

is that he should go safely
and return soon.

'Twas the close of
a particular episode

that people had been involved
in from first to last.

It imprinted itself in a way
that was absolutely magical.

And, of course, in the terrible
tragedy that was to follow,

as it was rerun,

the poignancy of that farewell
became extraordinarily strong.

RADIO: President's car is now
turning onto Elm Street,

and it will be only
a matter of minutes

before he arrives at the
Trade Mart.

I was on Stemmons Freeway earlier,

and even the freeway
was jam-packed with spectators

waiting their chance
to see the President

as he made
his way toward the Trade Mart.

It appears as though
something has happened

in the motorcade route!

Something, I repeat, has happened
in the motorcade route!

Police officers are rushing
up the hill at this time.

Stand by just a moment, please.

Something is wrong here!
Something is terribly wrong!

I'm in behind the motorcade...

The President of the United
States is dead.

I have just talked
to Father Oscar Hubert

of the Holy Trinity
Catholic Church.

He and another priest
tell me

that the pair of men
have just administered

the last rites of the Catholic
church to President Kennedy...

To this day, in this house,
they have this extraordinary memento

is all you can describe it as.

This was in the pocket of President
John F Kennedy when he was killed,

and it is a set of rosary beads

that Jacqueline Kennedy felt belonged
in the President's ancestral home.

And they remain here to this day.

And while it feels a little sad,

a little peculiar, even,
to hold them,

it also feels that it makes sense
that they're here.

It was a nice gesture.
It's appropriate.

It was towards the end of the
Kennedy visit to Ireland

that the president sat down
with some of his advisors,

Dave Powers and Kenny O'Donnell,

and they were saying "What was
your favourite bit of the trip?"

They said
"Your best bit was in your speech
to the Houses of the Oireachtas."

And he said, "No.

"My favourite bit was the Irish
cadets I saw at Arbour Hill."

And he spoke about them at
length when he got home,

when he got back to the White House,
to Jackie and so on,

to the point that when he was killed
that day in November in 1963,

within hours, Jackie was on to
the Irish government to say,

"I want to see those cadets perform
at the side of my husband's grave."

And so, on the morning
of the funeral,

after a fly-over by the military,

followed by Air Force One

making its way through the
skies in a solitary flight,

the Irish cadets performed
that manoeuvre.

(Shouting orders in Irish)

In the name of the Father and of
the Son and of the Holy Ghost, amen.

Let us pray.

Those terrible days at
the end of November of 1963.

Not so many months earlier,

I had been reading a lot of Irish
poetry in preparation for the trip.

For some reason,

I had read 'An Ode on the Death
of Owen Roe O'Neill,

and it seemed so appropriate.

"Strongest in the battle was he,

"wisest in the hall,

"Ireland won many victories sure;
Owen won them all.

"How could you leave us so
and how could you die?

"We're sheep without a shepherd
when the snow shuts out the sky."

That's exactly how I felt that day,
sitting in the White House.

I don't even want to talk
about it... Mr Tubridy.

It was too sad and awful
a day for me.

And I felt

like sheep without a shepherd
when the snow shuts out the sky.

"How could you leave us?"

JFK has inspired a generation

in a way that few presidents
have managed to do since.

That legacy remains
because, in many ways,

he is an icon forever stuck in time.

His visit to Ireland was more
than just a presidential visit

or an expression
of American power.

Kennedy himself
represented the fulfilment

of our own potential
as a nation,

but I also feel that Ireland
helped Kennedy discover

an important part of himself
and his own identity.

Because of that, Ireland and
Kennedy will always be linked.

JFK: You send us home
with the warmest memories of you

and of your country.

So I must say

that though other days
may not be so bright

as we look
towards the future,

but the brightest days
will continue to be

those in which we visited you
here in Ireland.

Captions (c) SBS Australia 2012

This program is captioned live. Gaza ceasefire holds but for how long? Reports of the first fatality since the truce came into effect. Opposition refugee policy slammed - Tony Abbott's plan to make asylum seekers work for their welfare. A storyteller until the end - the legacy of author Bryce Courtenay. Not one of his books wasn't a suc one of his books wasn't a
success. And - where'd it go? Scientists undiscover a Pacific island. ANNOUNCER: From SBS, this is World News Australia. Good evening. I'm Ricardo Goncalves. First we go to some developing news. Gaza's ceasefire is under strain tonight after a Palestinian man was reportedly shot lestinian man was reportedly shot dead by Israeli forces near the Gaza border. It is the first fatality since the two sides agreed to a truce two days ago. SBS correspondent Luke Waters is in Sufa which is about 2.5km from Gaza's border. Luke, what's the latest? Good evening. Your time. Well, I have recently spoken to the Israeli Defence Force en to the Israeli Defence Force and they confirmed the soldiers did open fire on about 300 Palestinians fire on about 300 Palestinians aiming for their legs, knees and below. They claim the Palestinians rushed from Gaza towards a fence separating Israel from Gaza and one man actually made it through. He was rumped, they say, immediately. The Israel Defence Force condition confirm any fatalitys but there are reports of -- fatalitys but there are claims one Palestinian was killed. Israel says several warning shots were fired into the air before the exchange by the warnings were ignored and the Palestinians continued to proceed towards the fence. What does this mean for the ceasefire? Well, that's the critical question. It's important tical question. It's important to point out that this incident is just coming to light now, but it did take place late yesterday Israeli time. So, so far so rockets have been fired, and it's widely hoped that this will remain the case. That's important - - it's important also to note there was a clause in the ceasefire agreement stipulatinceasefire agreement stipulating against any escalation for minor breaches. So, hopefully the status quo will remain and this incident, while it's still unclear, will be regarded as , will be regarded as a minor breach and this will remain breach and this will remain the case. OK, SBS's Luke Waters there in Sufa. Well, as Luke said, the ceasefire is holding. Here is his wrap of the day. Standing down. Israeli troops along the Israeli troops along the border are heading home. And on the previously deserted streets of Gaza, life is beginning to return to normal. Hamas declared a public holiday to mark the end of fighting and there was a rare show of unity as rival Palestinian factions celebratedlestinian factions celebrated together.

But Israel is still preparing to do just that. If the truce doesn't hold. Here in Jerusalem the Prime Minister, Netanyahu, is also claiming victory, saying what he calls terrorist infrastructure has been destroyed. He's also reinforced that s also reinforced that Israel is prepared for a harsher response. It's a hard line that may be helping Israel'shat may be