The Irish in America

Where Were You?


Last November 24th was the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President of the United States John F. Kennedy. Many people took a moment on this anniversary to remember where they were when they heard the news.

We recently received an email from Seamus Hora from County Mayo in response to our blog post. He sent along a wonderful poem he wrote describing “where I was when I learned of the sad news of the tragic passing of President J F Kennedy.”

Detroit Tigers v Washington Senators

Where Were You


In my mind I see him clearly

As he stood inside the door

We sat and gazed in silence

At the sad news that he bore.


We all were fascinated

By this man from USA

Honoured by a visit.

From charismatic JFK


The worlds greatest speaker

Simple words-But oh so true.

For a country to be proud of

You must make an effort too.


He promised as he left us,

He would return again someday

But a sniper from a window

Sadly had the final say.


We had no television

But felt that we were there

For coverage was provided

By the great Michael O Hehir


I was playing bingo

The clock had just struck ten

The gambling house Mulrennans

The bearer; Our late friend Eamon Quinn


by: Seamus Hora

Seamus Hora was born in Gorthaganny, County Roscommon. He has been employed by same company, Delaneys Ltd in Ballyhaunis, County Mayo, for 44 years. He has lived in Ballyhaunis for the past 20 years. Seamus is married to Rosaleen and the couple has one daughter, Sandra. Seamus only recently started to write poetry. and he bases his poems on his life experience. He values feedback and would like to hear what people think of his poem. Please leave a comment!

Thank you, Seamus, for sharing your poem! Stay tuned to the blog for my profile of Monica Wood, the author of the beautiful memoir, When We Were the Kennedys, later this month. You will also have the chance to win a copy of the book!


Author: Aine

I live in Saint Paul, Minnesota. My heritage pretty much covers the map of Ireland: great-great-grandparents from Cork (Crowley, Foley, Regan), a great-great-grandmother from Clare (Quinn), a great-great-grandfather from Fermanagh (McMahon) and his wife's parents from Mayo (McAndrew), a great-grandmother from Connemara (Hannon) married to my great-grandfather from Laois (McCormack), great-grandparents from Sligo (Flannery), and a great-grandmother from Kildare (Hill). All of those people ended up in Minnesota, where my four grandparents were born. Three and four generations after my people left Ireland for America, I retain all Irish heritage. So much for the melting pot...

6 thoughts on “Where Were You?

  1. Well done Seamus, Keep up the good work from all your friends at Beal Átha hAmhnais GAA.

  2. I have enjoyed reading Seamus Hora’s two poems.
    I was a young man just over in London from Ireland in 1963. I went over in October, the following 22nd of November a work colleague and myself attended a showing of the film, Tom Jones, at the Odeon in Leicester Square. During the showing some people who had come in and sat nearby mentioned that that they had heard rumours of President Kennedy been shot. After the film we were in a pub, Wards of Piccadilly. At this time news of the shooting was both on Television and in everyone’s conversation. Leaving the pub, the news vendors were selling their first edition with the news of the shooting.
    As we rode down the second escalator to the Piccadilly tube platform, we came across a woman who had fainted, her boyfriend who was with her asked us to help. Together we moved her to a bench on the platform, by this time she had recovered, her boyfriend Jack Shaefer ? told us that he was a marine working at the US. Embassy and that she had been overcome and upset when she heard of the shooting.
    We traveled home together and they spoke of Jack’s tour of duty ending and of their return to Pittsburgh. The next I heard of them was nearly a year later when I received a small packet from them which contained 4 Kennedy Dollar coins. After that we corresponded for some time, however when I returned to Ireland a couple of years later we lost touch. All of that was over 50 years ago but the memories remain.
    Some of your readers might be interested in looking up the website of a book which I had published last year, it is a social history of my hometown of Listowel. It has got some great reviews. The book’s name is, Listowel, Snapshots of an Irish Market Town, 1850-1950, the books website address is,

  3. Pingback: Winter Reminiscing | The Irish in America

  4. I love this poem! It really defines that vital moment in history, all of the sadness and somberness of the nation. This is inspiring me to consider adding poets to my own literary blog. Great post!

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