THE community of Bruff will hold a special remembrance Mass for the late US president, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, on the 50th anniversary of his death this Friday.
Organised by Bruff Heritage Group, the Mass will be celebrated by Bishop of Limerick, Dr Brendan Leahy at the church of St Peter and Paul in Bruff at 11am.
The event will be followed by a function in the Thomas Fitzgerald Centre where an announcement concerning a permanent display of memorabilia and photographs of JFK’s visit to Limerick and Ireland in 1963 and the Fitzgerald family’s connection to Bruff, will be made.
In June, members of the late president’s family, including his daughter Caroline, travelled to the town where JFK’s great grandfather emigrated from in 1852.
JFK’s grandfather, John ‘Honey Fitz’ Fitzgerald – son of Thomas Fitzgerald –would later go on to be elected Mayor of Boston thus heralding one of the world’s most enduring political dynasties.
Poignantly for the people of Bruff, the family bible, brought by Thomas Fitzgerald from Bruff to America, was used by JFK when taking his oath of office in 1961. The bible is now on permanent display in the John F Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston.
According to Paul Dennehy, chairperson of Bruff Heritage Group, Friday’s Mass will be “a moving occasion”.
“Tom Fitzgerald, the man whose descendants gave the Kennedys the F in their name, was born in Bruff in 1823. Friday’s Mass will not only be a moving occasion for everyone with links to the Fitzgeralds, but it will also allow the people of the village to celebrate the life of a wonderful politician whose Irish ancestry remains a great source of pride to this day.”