To Orwell Today,

July 4, 2013

Dear Jackie,

Enclosed are DVD copies of three films which are related to the JFK visit to Ireland in 1963.

One is a copy I made from the Irish Times JFK's VISIT TO IRELAND 1963 DVD which was issued about five years ago.


Many years ago I managed to record the film JOHNNY WE HARDLY KNEW YE when it was showing on Irish television. I recorded it on a VHS casette. Recently I invested in a new VHS and DVD recorder/player and I copied the film onto DVD.


The third DVD I am sending you is also a copy of a film I saw a few years ago on Irish Television which I managed to record.


It was promoted as having been produced by a religious order called the Columbian Fathers and it was supposed to contain rare footage of the visit that had never been seen before.

All three DVDs have been recorded in PAL format and I realize that you probably use NTSC in Canada, as in the USA. Over here most of our DVD players are capable of showing the fims in both formats. I hope that is the same for you and that you don't have any difficulty in watching them.

I haven't heard since from Ray Flynn. Nor have I been able to visit the museum in New Ross. I wonder what the interest was like in the items on show, particularly the placard, around the time of the anniversary, when there were so many people visiting New Ross, including several members of the Kennedy family.

Kind regards,
Peter O'Leary

Greetings Peter,

Great to hear from you from Ireland -- and thanks so much for sending those DVDs. I LOVED the JOHNNY WE HARDLY KNEW YE movie which, as it says on the back sleeve, was based on the book by Kenneth O'Donnell and David Powers.



And, of course, O'Donnell and Powers named their book after YOUR sign -- the one JFK saw during his trip to Ireland five months before he was assassinated in November 1963, as described in our previous discussions.

I was hoping to see a photo of JFK's daughter and grandchildren standing beside the JFK statue down on the New Ross dock -- where you posed with the placard when you delivered it to the museum. Caroline was very close to Dave Powers, the co-author of JOHNNY WE HARDLY KNEW YE and first curator of the JFK Presidential Library & Museum. It would have been nice to see a photo of Caroline visiting the New Ross museum where your placard was on display.




FlameIreland FlameIrelandCaroline

There was coverage of Caroline and JFK's sister Jean lighting the New Ross eternal flame that was lit from the eternal flame on JFK's grave in Washington.

Once again, Peter, thanks very much for sending the DVDs -- they're a valued contribution to my library.

All the best,
Jackie Jura

PS - I was only able to play one of the three DVDs in my machine but it was the most important one, ie the JOHNNY WE HARDLY KNEW YE movie that you taped from TV onto VHS an then onto DVD. It was great. It focused only on the beginning chapters of the book -- on JFK's meeting of Dave Powers and how he helped JFK win his first election to Congress in 1946. I hadn't known, until you told me, that there'd been a movie made based on the book.

(1977 TV movie from O'Donnell/Powers book)
Email/YouTube, May 24, 2017
watch Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye listen
(the enemy nearly slew ye)
watch When Johnny Comes Marching Home listen

Caroline Kennedy lights memorial flame in Ireland, Reuters, June 24, 2013
DUBLIN -- Caroline Kennedy and other relatives of President John F. Kennedy lit a flame in Ireland on Saturday to mark the anniversary of his 1963 visit to the country, a landmark in its post-independence history. Irish premier Enda Kenny joined thousands in the county Wexford town to mark the anniversary with the president's sister Jean Kennedy Smith and daughter Caroline Kennedy. President Kennedy's visit, just five months before his assassination, was the first by a serving U.S. president and cemented the strong links between the nations forged by waves of emigration....

JFKwithDavePowers DavePowersLibraryJFK Dave Powers, Special Assistant to President John F. Kennedy, was closely associated in every aspect of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. In 1964, at the request of Robert F. Kennedy, Powers began assembling and collecting the Kennedy memorabilia which was to become part of the Library's permanent exhibit on the life and legacy of President Kennedy. He also traveled around the world with an exhibit of items to raise money for the construction of the Library...

JFK WE HARDLY KNEW YE MEMENTO (I drove the 2 hours down to New Ross on last Thursday and met with Ray Flynn and members of the organising committee of the JFK Museum. I gave them a loan of the placard, the book and a copy of the film along with some other photos taken by my father at the time....)

Peter writes from Ireland about his JFK WE HARDLY KNEW YE sign (I was aware of the forthcoming 50th anniversary commemoration of the visit of JFK to New Ross...I have just taken the sign out of my attic and it is in good condition...)

WHERE'S JFK WE HARDLY KNEW YE? (New Ross Tidy Towns have initiated a community museum project to celebrate the 50th anniversary of JFK's visit to our town... Would it be possible for you to forward me Peter O'Leary's contact details so as to discuss the possibility of the 'JFK hardly knew ya sign' being involved in our event?)

JFK WE HARDLY KNEW YE SIGN (...I was the person who held up the placard "Johnny I hardly knew ye" at New Ross in 1963...)

POEMS FOR JFK & JOHN-JOHN (...The welcome and love JFK received from the Irish people lifted his spirits and warmed his heart and Dave Powers and Kenny O'Donnell chose the name of their book "Johnny We Hardly Knew Ye" from a sign somebody in the crowd held up, which was also the title of an old Irish ballad....)


Jackie Jura
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~

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