JFK Trust to mark 30 years afloat with ma­jor event in Septem­ber

New Ross Standard - - NEWS - By DAVID LOOBY

A ma­jor event is planned in New Ross this Septem­ber to mark 30 years of the John F Kennedy (JFK) Trust, which was founded on July 21, 1980.

On Satur­day, July 21, a small event took place on board the Dun­brody Famine Ship to mark the found­ing of the JFK Trust. The orig­i­nal sig­na­to­ries Michael Ryan (of Na­tion­wide fame), Jim O Shea, Tom Clarkin, Ernest Lev­ing­stone, the late Paddy Quinn (who was rep­re­sented by his son De­clan Quinn), Dr Terry Rogers and Kieran O Grady were in­vited to join with the cur­rent board of man­age­ment to cel­e­brate the oc­ca­sion. The cur­rent board was rep­re­sented by newly elected Chair­man Wal­ter O’Leary, Wil­lie Fitzhar­ris, Frances Ryan, Jim Walsh and Colm Caulfield.

JFK Trust C.E.O. Sean Con­nick wel­comed ev­ery­one on board and handed over to the chair­man Wal­ter O’Leary who wel­comed the found­ing mem­bers and con­grat­u­lated them on their vi­sion and courage for set­ting up the JFK Trust.

‘You can be very proud of your legacy and what has been achieved,’ Mr Con­nick said.

Kieran O’Grady then spoke on be­half of the found­ing mem­bers say­ing that they had one sim­ple ob­jec­tive and that was to try and stop the traf­fic that was pass­ing through the town of New Ross. Mr Con­nick then in­formed the group that they had cer­tainly achieved that ob­jec­tive with 70,000 vis­i­tors ex­pected to visit Dun­brody this year. He said 51 peo­ple were on the weekly wage run with €800,000 in wages go­ing back into the lo­cal econ­omy, adding that the re­main­der of the turnover of the project is be­ing spent with lo­cal busi­ness and trades­peo­ple and ser­vice providers where pos­si­ble.

On Septem­ber 29, 2018, a ma­jor event is planned and all for­mer em­ploy­ees and peo­ple who worked on the con­struc­tion of the ship along with all form for­mer di­rec­tors will be in­vited to a gath­er­ing which will take place at the Dun­brody Famine Ship Ex­pe­ri­ence to mark the 30 years of suc­cess and achieve­ment.

Mr Con­nick said: ‘We would ap­peal to any­one who was part of the orig­i­nal con­struc­tion team to make con­tact with us on our Face­book page Dun­brody Famine Ship or by call­ing our of­fice on 051 421936. There will also be a se­ries of events planned through­out the year to mark the spe­cial oc­ca­sion.’

The 120ft long, 28ft wide ves­sel ship spent six weeks from early De­cem­ber to Tues­day last hav­ing vi­tal re­pair and re­fur­bish­ment work car­ried out in dry dock in the New Ross Boat Yard across the Bar­row River. The ship also re­ceived a com­plete paint­ing job. The Dun­brody will pe­ri­od­i­cally have to be dry docked as she is no dif­fer­ent from any other ship. ‘Even the big­gest ships sail­ing the ocean will visit a dry dock ev­ery two to five years,’ Mr Con­nick said.

Mem­bers of the first board of the JFK Trust, Michael Ryan, Tom Clarkin, Terry Rogers, Ernest Lev­ing­stone, Jim Shea, Kieran O’Grady and De­clan Quinn (rep­re­sent­ing his late fa­ther Paddy Quinn).

The JFK Trust com­mit­tee from 1991, front row: Mary Ann Ryan, Paddy Quinn and Sean Reidy. Back: Bren­dan Sweeney, Terry Rogers, Jim Walsh, Michael Ryan, Kieran O’Grady and Jim Shea.

Michael Ryan, first chair­per­son of the JFK Trust with Wal­ter O’Leary, cur­rent chair­per­son.

The orig­i­nal sig­na­to­ries of the JFK Trust in 1988.

The Cer­tifi­cate of Cor­po­ra­tion for the JFK Trust.

Sean Reidy pic­tured in 1991.

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