The United States aircraft carrier John F Kennedy is anchored off Dublin Bay.

'Big John' as it is known by the crew stopped a mile and a half off Dun Laoghaire as it is too big to berth
in the harbour. A twenty-one gun salute marked the arrival of one of the biggest warships in the world. The 80,000 tonne ship is home to over 5,000 sailors. There are over 70 aircraft on board. 

The JFK provided over 2,000 bombing missions during the 1991 gulf war. Michael O'Kane talks to Lieutenant Tim Leake about going into battle on board the JFK. 

None of us every wants to go into battle, but if we do we go in and get the job done.

Petty Officer Jeffrey Pierce is not at liberty to discuss what armaments are on board the vessel. Administrative Officer John Shockley says they are overwhelmed by the welcome they have received in Dublin. However, not everyone was so welcoming. On shore they were welcomed by hundreds of anti-war campaigners. 

An RTÉ News report by Michael O'Kane broadcast on 2 July 1996.

RTÉ News : 4th of July Party on the USS JFK in Dublin

'Big John' was still docked in Dublin Bay on 4 July and celebrations took place on board to mark Independence Day. Carole Coleman reports for RTÉ News.