Never-before-seen video footage of former US president John F Kennedy while on a visit to Wexford, Ireland in the 1960s is to be shown to the public for the first time.
The footage was filmed by local woman Peggy Walsh, then a “keen” videographer and now 98 years old, and captures Mr Kennedy’s visit to New Ross in June 1963 in a 20-minute long colour video.
It will be donated to the Kennedy Book and Research Archive at New Ross Library during the 2021 Kennedy Summer School, along with other films shot by Ms Walsh.
Chair of the Summer School, Willie Keilthy said: “Today we are privileged to have so many formats for collecting local historic and social events instantly on our smartphones.
“Back in the late 1950s and 1960s, collecting such footage was limited to the standard film camera or the super 8 movie camera with sometimes waiting weeks to have them developed and then only available to a few.
“Fortunately, Peggy Walsh, now 98 years old, was a keen photographer and videographer and back in the day made lots of short movies capturing the most important events of the day in New Ross, including the visit of President Kennedy to the town.
“It is certain that this important local collection will serve to relate the social history of the town and surrounding district. We would like to thank Ann Larkin, daughter of Peggy Walsh, for providing this collection to the archive.”
The footage will be showcased to the public for the first time at an outdoor screening event at the New Ross Library Park on September 2nd.
The event will take place as part of the annual Kennedy Summer School, which will be hosted in New Ross in Co Wexford from September 2nd to 4th with some events also available online.
The line-up of guest speakers for the annual festival of Irish and American history, culture and politics includes Professor Luke O’Neill, Mick Mulvaney, Congressman Brendan F Boyle, Tommie Gorman, Donie O’ Sullivan of CNN, Minister Darragh O’Brien and Alliance Party MP Stephen Farry.
The Kennedy family traces their roots back to Dunganstown in Co Wexford when Patrick Kennedy, the former US president's great-grandfather, left Ireland during the Great Famine in 1848.