News and Events

Recalling the Visit of JFK to Shannon

Not only did 1963 mark the beginning of medieval banquets at Bunratty Castle it also marked the year one of the world's most icon figures visited our shores. Read the wonderfully nostalgic accounts of Joy De Burgh O'Brien and Breda O'Donovan who were among the team of Bunratty Castle Entertainers who not only greeted President John F. Kennedy at Shannon Airport in 1963 but who performed for him and were invited to perform at the White House at a later date.

Joy and Breda recall the incredible aura and charisma of JFK, the impact he had on all those he met at Shannon and the indelible mark his presence left upon them. They also recall the deep sadness they felt at his passing only four short months later. In those days the Castle Entertainers themselves were feted like film stars wherever they went but we get a real sense of the undeniable privilege they felt at having the occasion to perform for him... all those years ago.

Thanks to Andy Hamilton journalist with the Clare People for capturing these warm and moving accounts from two of the first Bunratty Castle Entertainers.

The Clare People News Article - President Kennedy's Bunratty Girls (PDF 298 KB)