JFK’s Emigrant Flame went out in Wexford – just four days after it arrived to commemorate the 50th anniversary of his homecoming trip to Ireland.
The Irish Sun has reported that the flame, lit from the Eternal Flame, in memory of John F Kennedy for the past 50 years was extinguished after its trans-Atlantic journey.
The Emigrant Flame went out last Wednesday due to ‘technical glitches’ according to embarrassed Wexford Council officials.
New Ross town manager Eamonn Hore told the paper that ‘a build-up of soot’ led to it being extinguished.
Hore said: “We expected teething problems in the first few months as we try and get the balance right between the amount of oxygen, the pressure of the gas and the build-up of soot.
“There are sensors, too, which tell us if it is about to go out or not so we have to factor them in too.”
Hore added that while the flame did go out for a few minutes, the original flame was still kept burning.
He said: “This is because three miners’ lamps, which the flame arrived in from the US, are being kept by the council to relight the fire if needed.”
The paper says The Emigrant Flame was brought across the Atlantic after being relit from the Eternal Flame, which has pride of place by the ex-US president’s graveside in Arlington, Virginia.
The Irish Army was deployed to bring it safely to Dublin on a flight before the Navy took over to get it to Wexford.
The flame was then ignited in New Ross by JFK’s daughter Caroline as part of the commemorations of his visit to Ireland in 1963.