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Galway hosts Irish premiere of JFK – The Three Miles

The story of what may well be the most famous three-mile journey ever taken through Galway city was revisited in glorious detail as a new documentary on the visit of President John F Kennedy to Galway was premiered – 60 years on from the day itself.

The new Irish documentary, co-funded by Galway City Council and directed by Pamela Finn, painstakingly records that day in June 1963, when JFK passed through Galway on a Presidential visit that he later described as “the best four days of his life”.

It was a trip that would change America and the rest of the world’s perception of Ireland forever.

This new documentary, which was premiered at the Pálás Cinema last weekend, tells the story of through the eyes of residents who were present on the day, evoking the euphoric excitement felt within the local community.

Among them is Norrie Quinn, who was thirteen when the President visited her hometown, one of the Irish dancers tasked with entertaining him in Eyre Square. She recalls the nerves she felt over getting her steps wrong.

Carmel Kenny was in her fourth year of national school when she was chosen to form part of the human flag for the President’s arrival; she shares her pleasant surprise at his relaxed demeanour, and how he shunned his security staff to say hello to the children.

Connacht Tribune photographer Stan Shields – who got closer than anyone to the President – speaks of Kennedy’s down to earth nature, and fondly recalls the President calling him a ‘friend’.

Anthony Ryan speaks of the Kennedy’s kindness, as he stopped his motorcade at the family’s home on the three-mile drive to Salthill, simply to wish Ryan’s elderly mother well and shake her hand.

The film will premiere in the prestigious JFK Hyannis Museum on Cape Cod later this month. It will also be available for download from on July 4.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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