Lord Mayor

Visit of President John F.Kennedy

President Kennedy at City HallThe visit of United States President John F.Kennedy to Cork in June 1963, as part of his tour of Ireland, was one of the biggest events ever staged in the city. Huge crowds gathered in Patrick Street and around City Hall to see the Presidential motorcade.

On 28th June, 1963, Kennedy was awarded the Freedom of Cork City by Lord Mayor Sean Casey at a special meeting of the City Council, ‘…in token of our pride that this descendant of Irish emigrants should have been elected to such an exalted office and of our appreciation of his action in coming to visit the country of his ancestors; as a tribute to his unceasing and fruitful work towards the attainment of prosperity and true peace by all the people of the world, and in recognition of the close ties that have always existed between our two countries’.

JFK Freedom CasketKennedy later said 'I was most impressed by the welcome I received as we drove through the streets and by the ceremony in your beautiful City Hall. I am most grateful for it all'. Members of the Presidential party from Washington said the reception given by Cork people excelled anything they had experienced on their tour, and that President Kennedy had particular pleasure in hearing the U.S. National Anthem played by the band of the Southern Command of the Irish Army.

President Kennedy at St. Patrick's Street
Crowds greeting President Kennedy at St. Patrick's Street (JFK Presidential Library)

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