Thousands of people gathered in New Ross in Co Wexford for a ceremony to commemorate the visit of President John F Kennedy to the town 50 years ago this week.

A flame taken from the Eternal Flame at the president's graveside also arrived on board the Irish Navy vessel, the LE Orla.

It was used to light an Emigrant Flame on the New Ross quayside, where President Kennedy delivered his address in 1963.

Earlier, Taoiseach Enda Kenny opened the Kennedy Homestead visitor attraction in Dunganstown near New Ross.

JFK's great-grandfather Patrick's home has been transformed into a €1.5m museum.

Relative Patrick Grennan is the eighth generation to inherit the farm and decided 14 years ago to open a makeshift visitor centre to cater for the relentless stream of strangers knocking on his door.

"What do you do? There are people calling to your gate every day - do you talk to them all day for nothing or do you set it up so you can make an income out of it?" he said.

When Ted Kennedy died the Government announced €1.5m in funding, and plans for a new JFK Trust to take over the running of the museum.