For those of you who would love to visit Ireland over Christmas here is an opportunity to do so courtesy of Connect Ireland and the JFK Trust.

They announced last week that the deadline for entries to The Emigrant Flame Competition has been extended. The Emigrant Flame Competition winner will receive a return economy class flight to Ireland from anywhere in the world in time for Christmas. This initiative is the brainchild of the JFK Trust and is targeted at Irish emigrants and their families.

The REUNITED AT THE EMIGRANT FLAME campaign is sponsored by Connect Ireland and managed by the John F Kennedy Trust. The lucky winner will be flown from their current country of residence and reunited with loved ones at The Emigrant Flame in New Ross, Co. Wexford at a special reception to be held in the run-up to Christmas this year. The competition which opened on Friday, November 15 closes on Sunday, December 8. You can follow the progress of the competition and the enthusiastic entrants on Twitter and Facebook.

The Emigrant Flame, a new addition to the New Ross Quayside, was unveiled in June this year during the JFK50 celebrations. A light was taken from the eternal flame at President Kennedy’s graveside in Arlington Cemetery, Virginia and traveled across the Atlantic as a Gathering Torch. This torch was used by President Kennedy's daughter Caroline and his sister, former ambassador to Ireland, Jean Kennedy Smith to ignite The Emigrant Flame.

The Kennedy legacy is the quintessential story of emigrant success, of triumph overcoming adversity, which saw a family rise from Irish famine emigrant to the Presidency of the United States in just three generations. The journey of the Gathering Torch from President Kennedy’s graveside to New Ross also fulfilled on a symbolic level his promise "to return to Ireland in the springtime.”

The Emigrant Flame provides a permanent flame of hope and inspiration to all Irish emigrants. The significance of The Emigrant Flame is particularly poignant today given that over one quarter of Irish households have seen a close family member emigrate in the past two years, according to a survey commissioned by the National Youth Council of Ireland in 2013. In addition a further four out of ten adults aged between 25 and 34 have also considered leaving the country.

In the past four years, over 300,000 people have emigrated from Ireland; 40% were aged between 15 and 24. The report also highlights the fact  it is not just young people who are impacted by emigration as more than a quarter of those aged between 35 and 54 have also considered leaving the country.

Mary French, Brand & Marketing Manager for the JFK Trust commented, “Our aim is to spread the message of The Emigrant Flame around the world so that all of our diaspora and indeed anyone who feels a connection with Ireland can take inspiration from this symbol of hope. Emigration once again affects every family in our society and The Emigrant Flame will give people a place to connect and be reunited, be it online or in person. The essential point is that no one affected by emigration should feel isolated or disconnected from the Irish community.”

This is a competition sponsored by Connect Ireland.

Connect Ireland in association with the JFK Trust is offering the chance to win long haul flights home to Ireland this Christmas. Entering could not be easier! Simply give us a reason why you deserve to win return flights to Ireland to be reunited with loved ones at The Emigrant Flame in time for Christmas. Include the name and location of the person who will fly to Ireland.

Entries will be accepted via Twitter: @emigrantflame / Facebook : theemigrantflame or email: [email protected] Full details can be found at

The JFK Trust was formed in 1988 to commemorate the historic legacy of President John F Kennedy by involving itself in projects that would enrich the lives of the people of his ancestral home area of New Ross and its environs. 25 years later much has been achieved. The articles of association of the JFK Trust are broad in their remit, and pay particular reference to the cultural and environmental development of the town of New Ross and its environs.

ConnectIreland is an innovative way to create new jobs in Ireland by harnessing the power of the global Diaspora – at home and abroad. The mission is to attract foreign companies that are expanding internationally to Ireland through ordinary people – creating jobs and securing the future of the Irish economy. The Irish Government will financially reward those that attract new, sustainable jobs into the country. The objective of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs is to bring 5,000 new jobs to Ireland within the next five years under the Irish government’s Succeed In Ireland Initiative, which is managed by IDA Ireland and implemented by ConnectIreland.