Category Archives: John F. Kennedy

The two Jacks

The man who accompanied John F. Kennedy to Mulligan’s, Jack, Grealish, was one of the most respected journalists in the country. Three years before Kennedy’s visit to Ireland in 1947, Grealish wrote a two-page article on Irish neutrality for The Sign, a US Catholic monthly publication which ran from 1921 to 1982.

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Jack Grealish, the consummate journalist.

This article may have been the reason Kennedy sought out Grealish when he called on the offices of the Irish Press which were located near Mulligan’s.

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In the article he wrote for The Sign, Grealish employed the skills of the careful but entertaining writer. His tone was conversational, devoid of needless phrases, at times lyrical and never hackneyed. The article was seasoned with anecdote. An example of his skill was apparent in his description of the then US Secretary of State, Cordell Hull, as over-cautious. For The Sign, Grealish recounted an episode that brought his observation to life:

 On a train journey, a travelling companion pointed to some sheep and said, ‘Those are sheared.’ Mr Hull examined them closely and replied, ‘They are on this side anyhow.’

Kennedy and Ireland

A year after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Look magazine brought out the JFK Memorial Issue.

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In an article by Joseph Roddy, ‘They cried the rain down that night’ mention was given to Kennedy’s visit to Mulligan’s pub.

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Roddy recalled that Kennedy, on his visit to Ireland shortly before his assassination, had missed seeing places he had seen before.

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He concluded his article with a description of Kennedy’s departure from Ireland:

Once past the guard, Kennedy stood alone and erect with the flag of Ireland before him, a 21-gun salute drumming from somewhere, while the air filled with ‘The Star Spangled Banner’ played slower than he heard it at home. He left then.

Prospective president visits pub

The memorial monochrome photograph of John F. Kennedy, who visited Mulligan's in 1947. Picture courtesy of Jonas R.
The memorial monochrome photograph of John F. Kennedy, who visited Mulligan’s in 1947. Picture courtesy of Jonas R.

Mulligan’s is unique in that three of the most influential people in Literature, the performing arts and politics have visited it.

James Joyce is regarded as one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century, if not of all time.

Judy Garland is known throughout the world, not only because of her role in the Wizard of Oz but also because of her remarkable performances in other films and her skill as a singer.

President Kennedy pictured in the White House
President Kennedy pictured in the White House

In politics, John F. Kennedy is regarded as the consummate politician, the Camelot President who made people believe in themselves and in their country.

He visited Mulligan’s in the company of an Irish Press journalist, Jack Grealish, in 1947.