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Ireland Mourns Death of President Kennedy

Nov. 23, 1963 - Ireland today mourned the death of John F. Kennedy with a nationwide expression of grief for “a son of the Old Sod.” At Dunganstown in County Wexford, the ancestral home of the Kennedy clan, Mrs. Mary Ryan (pictured right in June) led his Irish relatives in a Requiem Mass celebrated in a small Catholic Church. She is the President’s 65-year-old third cousin. Weeping kinfolk joined Mrs. Ryan in mourning the President’s death in the church where Kennedy’s great great-grandfather was christened more than 100 years ago. Flags throughout the island were lowered to half-staff, blinds were drawn in thousands of homes, social functions were canceled, and most sporting events postponed. Catholic nuns shepherded lines of schoolchildren through rain mixed with sleet to attend special midday church services. The Kennedy family has asked the Irish Government to supply an honor guard of troops for President Kennedy’s funeral Monday, and the request has been approved. A squad of 30 Irish soldiers under the command of General Sean McKeown, head of Ireland’s armed forces, will arrive in Washington tomorrow night.


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