President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas on 22 November 1963, only five months after his visit to Ireland, when he had won the hearts of the Irish people. Irish sports commentator Michael O’Hehir happened to be in New York when the news broke, and phoned in a report to RTÉ, describing the shock and confusion in the United States.
President Kennedy’s funeral was held in Washington DC on 25 November 1963. Michael O’Hehir gave live commentary on Irish radio and television. The entire event was broadcast live on Telefís Éireann via Telstar satellite, but successful transmission of images by satellite depended on good reception, and on the day it was only possible for the television audience to see President Kennedy’s coffin being brought to St Matthew’s Cathedral in Washington DC for the funeral mass. They would not have seen the images in the TV clips below, which show the funeral party leaving the cathedral and President Kennedy’s burial at Arlington National Cemetery, where Irish cadets formed the guard of honour.
President Kennedy was mourned throughout Ireland in a national day of mourning on 26 November 1963. Many businesses shut down so that staff could attend special services and masses.
Michael O’Hehir reports from New York an hour after the shooting of President Kennedy, describing the shock and confusion in the United States.
The Mayor of Limerick Frances Condell pays tribute to the late President Kennedy on RTÉ News the day after his assassination in Dallas, Texas.
Mike Burns reports for RTÉ News from the farmyard in Dunganstown, Co. Wexford, where President Kennedy had taken tea with his Irish relatives.
John Bowman takes to the streets of Dublin to get people’s reactions to the death of President Kennedy.
After the funeral mass, President Kennedy’s coffin is placed on a horse-drawn caisson outside.
Irish cadets form guard of honour at President Kennedy’s funeral by special request of his widow Jacqueline Kennedy.
President Kennedy is interred at Arlington National Cemetery.
Mourners of all congregations attend services and masses for the dead President.
Dubliners queue to sign book at US embassy.
Dublin dockers and Moore Street traders attend masses for the dead President.
The poet Patrick Kavanagh pays tribute to President Kennedy in the RTV Guide.