07: Death of President Kennedy
President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas on 22 November 1963, only five months after his visit to Ireland.
Irish sports commentator Michael O’Hehir happened to be in New York when the news broke of Kennedy's assassination, 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.