Duganstown--President Kennedy returned to his family's homestead here on June 27th for an enthusiastic family re-union.
Duganstown--President Kennedy returned to his family's homestead here on June 27th for an enthusiastic family re-union.The gathering was attended by fifteen Ireland Kennedys -- not to mention a platoon of officials, 150-newsmen, about 1,000 sight-seers, a covey of secret service men, a phalanx of television cameras and four U-S army helicopters.
President Kennedy, accompanied by two of his sisters, kissed "his second cousin once removed," Mrs.Mary Ryan, made her daughter Josie blush by saying she was like his sisters, and issued general invitations to the clan to visit Washington.
After kissing Mrs.Ryan and receiving a kiss in return, the President turned to her daughters, Josie, 21, and Mary Ann, 24, and told them "you were tots" when he last visited her in 1947.
Mrs.Ryan was host to the family reunion by virtue of her role as custodian of the Kennedy homestead -- the freshly whitewashed, tin-roofed potato shed in her back yard where the President's Great-grandfather was born and reared.But Kennedy hardly had time to look at the old homestead -- he was too busy with reunion activities.
In the afternoon, Kennedy attended a garden party at the residence of President Eamon de Valera, along with 1,700 other guests.Kennedy spent much of the time in the residence itself -- the rain came down, sending the tuxedoed guests scurrying for their umbrellas.Kennedy and De Valera stayed on the lawn only ten-minutes before ducking inside the residence to dry out.