The first Kennedy Leadership Forum is due to take place in New Ross over the June bank-holiday weekend, ahead of the JFK50 events on June 22.
The Kennedy Leadership Forum is a symposium event in honor of one of the world’s greatest leaders, President John F. Kennedy. According to Chair of the JFK50 Cllr. Michael Sheehan the event is to honor the memory of JFK and explore what it means to be a leader in the contemporary world. “President John F. Kennedy is remembered in heroic terms, and also, as someone who dealt with the complexities of the Cold War, Civil Rights and the Cuban Missile Crisis, among others, he is viewed as a man who defined what is was to be a leader.”
Commenting at the launch Michael said, “I am delighted to finalise the panel list for the Kennedy Leadership Forum. The Inaugural forum which I hope will be a lasting legacy of the Kennedy 50 year brings together leaders from all walks of life. There has never been a more important time to discuss the quality or lack there of, leadership in our society.
“I'm hoping that anyone who is interested in our future will make an effort to attend some panels and I commend Boston College Dublin with the organizers for putting this exciting programme together.”
On Friday May 31 the forum will examiner leadership in sport Nickey Brennan, former GAA President along with Kilkenny Hurler Damien Richardson the former manager and TV soccer pundit will discuss ‘what makes a good sporting leader.’
On Saturday June 1st from 10am to noon the topic of youth leadership will be at the fore. Maurice Devlin, Jean Monnet Professor and Director of the Centre will join John Buckley, Youth Engagement Officer from Spun out for Youth Research and Development, NUIM and Michael Barron, Director, BeLonG To. This session is aimed at young people and those who parent them and work with them. The panel will discuss developing Ireland’s youth debates circle around the need for strong role models, for support, opportunity and for leadership.
On Saturday afternoon ‘Leadership in Culture and in Business’ will be discussed by Cathal Goan, former Director General of RTE and Professor of Media, University of Notre Dame, Louis de Paor, Poet, translator, documentary maker and head of Irish Studies, NUI Galway, Nora Casey Newstalk & Harmonia Publishing, Declan Kearney, Head of Communications and Corporate Affairs, Aer Lingus and broadcaster and rugby pundit George Hook.
Closing the weekend of leadership discussion will be leaders in the community. Caitriona Fottrell, Irish Head of the American Ireland Funds and Deirdre Garvey, Chief Executive Officer, The Wheel, will join Matt English CEO Special Olympics Ireland.  This session will discuss the incredible network of community, not for profit and voluntary organizations that span a wide array of fields in Ireland and focus on the skills needed to motivate and lead people in the community, as opposed to profit.
Commenting on the details of the forum at the launch Mike Cronin of Boston College said, “The Kennedy Leadership Forum in New Ross offers a fantastic opportunity for people to come together and reflect in what it means to be a leader in today's world. A great range of speakers, who are themselves leaders in their fields, will discuss what marks out a leader and the qualities that are required to make a difference now, in the ways that President Kennedy did half a century ago.”
The Leadership Forum will take place at St. Michael’s Theatre in New Ross from May 31 to June 2. The forum talks have a ticket price of €5.00 and the youth Leadership event is free of charge. For further details on the event see and for tickets see
The Kennedy Leadership Forum will take place ahead of the towns planned celebrations for the JFK50, which will take place on June 22 marking the memory and visit of President John F. Kennedy to his ancestral hometown.
The town recently announced the stage line-up for celebrations in New Ross for ‘The Homecoming’ on June 22, this features Wexford ambassador, journalist, presenter and former RTE newsreader Anne Doyle who will take to the stage on New Ross Quayside and welcome visitors to Wexford as well as introduce the formidable line-up, which will include the critically acclaimed award winning author and Wexford ambassador Colm Toibin who will recite from the stage.  George Hook, well-known broadcaster, TV critic and Kennedy fan will assist Anne.
International singer and Wexford ambassador Michael Londra and world-renowned dancer, musician and performer Michael Flatley, who will narrate the journey and significance of the Emigrant Flame before it’s symbolic lighting on the quayside, evoking the spirit and inspiration of the Kennedys and the entire Irish emigrant family. American Grammy award winning singer and songwriter Judy Collins will also entertain visitors from the stage; Extreme Rhythm, the most highly acclaimed percussion group in Europe and World pipe band champions, New Ross and District Pipe Band will also entertain the special guests and viewing public.
For further details on all of the events taking place throughout the year for the JFK50 see


John F Kennedy monument at New Ross, County Wexford.Google Images