The rosary beads that was in the late President John F Kennedy's pocket when he was shot in Dallas, Texas, in 1963 were given to his Irish relatives in County Wexford by his wife Jackie it has been confirmed.
The extraordinary gesture was revealed in RTÉ presenter Ryan Tubridy's new documentary on JFK, indicating the importance of his Wexford ancestral home to the American President.
President Kennedy of course visited the Kennedy homestead in Dunganstown near New Ross on his June 1963 state visit after two earlier low-profile trips to Ireland.
According to Ryan Tubridy, the presence of JFK's rosary beads in the house where his great grandfather Patrick Kennedy was born reflected his deep attachment to Ireland.
He said that, “To this day in the house which is run by Patrick Grennan, they have this extraordinary memento.”
Jacqueline felt they belonged to the Presidents ancestral home in Ireland.
President Kennedy was the first, and to this day, the only Catholic President of the United States.
Interestingly his late brother Robert who was assassinated in Los Angeles in June 1968 also died with a rosary beads in his hands.