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.’

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