'President Kennedy in Ireland' is now available for viewing online through the Irish Film Institute

Film footage of President John F Kennedy’s historic trip to Ireland in June 1963 has been made available for viewing online. The 27-minute film, produced by the Columban Fathers, is available thanks to The Irish Film Institute.

President Kennedy giving a speech in Ireland in June 1963 (Getty Images)

President Kennedy giving a speech in Ireland in June 1963 (Getty Images)

Read More: On this day in 1963 JFK visited Ireland - What his historic trip meant

"President Kennedy in Ireland" was produced by Fr Gerry Smith, a missionary priest from Co. Cavan who had studied filmmaking in the U.S. He had made several films about “the old country” before making the documentary chronicling the president’s visit. The film, titled 'President Kennedy in Ireland,' was meant to be shown at fundraising events for Irish American audiences.

Kennedy was the first U.S. president to visit an independent Ireland. The visit occurred just five months before the president’s tragic assassination in Dallas.

While several films were made of Kennedy’s trip to Ireland, the Columban Fathers' documentary was the only professionally-made film shot in color.

Footage shows Kennedy visiting his ancestral home in Dunganstown, Co. Wexford; excerpts from several public speeches; and sequences from his visits in Dublin, Cork, Galway, and Limerick, all of which were attended by large crowds.

JFK in Co Cork in June 1963 (Getty Images)

JFK in Co Cork in June 1963 (Getty Images)

Read More: Listen to JFK's previously unheard private message to Ireland

The video below is published with thanks to the Irish Film Institute (IFI), whom IrishCentral have partnered up with throughout 2019 to bring you a taste of what their remarkable collection entails. You can find all IrishCentral articles and videos from the IFI here.

To watch more gems from Ireland’s past, visit the IFI Player, a virtual viewing room from the Irish Film Institute, giving audiences across the globe free instant access to Irish heritage preserved in the IFI Irish Film Archive. Irish Culture from the last 100 years is reflected through documentaries, animation, adverts, amateur footage, feature film and much more. Or download the IFI Player Apps for free on iPhone, Android, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Roku.

IrishCentral has partnered up with the IFI throughout 2019 to bring you a taste of what their remarkable collection entails. You can find all IrishCentral articles and videos from the IFI here.

*Originally published in May 2017. 

President John F. Kennedy during his historic trip to Ireland in 1963.Irish Film Institute