If you are a fan of history and culture, you might want to visit the John F. Kennedy Memorial at Eyre Square in Galway. This memorial commemorates the visit of the then US president to the city in 1963, just five months before his tragic assassination.

The memorial is located at Eyre Square, a popular public park in the heart of Galway. The square has a long and rich history, dating back to medieval times when it was an open space in front of a town gate, known as the ‘Green’. The square was officially presented to the city in 1710 by Mayor Edward Eyre, from whom it took its name. Later, in 1801, it was renamed ‘Meyrick Square’ after General Meyrick erected a stone wall around it.

However, the most significant event in the square’s history happened on June 29, 1963, when John F. Kennedy, the first US president to visit Ireland during his term of office, made a speech to a crowd of thousands of people. He expressed his admiration for the Irish people and their contribution to America, and he also spoke about his own Irish ancestry. He said:

“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.”

The speech was met with cheers and applause from the enthusiastic audience, who gave Kennedy a warm welcome and a memorable farewell. The president then left Galway to return to Dublin, where he departed from Ireland.

In 1965, two years after Kennedy’s death, the square was officially renamed ‘John F. Kennedy Memorial Park’ in his honour. A bronze bust of Kennedy was erected in the park, cast from a wood carving by local sculptor Albert O’Toole. The bust was later replaced by a new one in the early 2000s.

Today, the memorial is a popular attraction for tourists and locals alike, who come to admire the likeness of one of the most influential and charismatic leaders of the 20th century. The park also hosts many events and festivals throughout the year, such as the Galway International Arts Festival.

The John F. Kennedy Memorial is a must-see for anyone who wants to learn more about the history and culture of Galway and Ireland. It is a tribute to a man who inspired millions of people around the world with his vision and courage.


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John Fitzgerald Kennedy Memorial



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