The John F. Kennedy Trusrwas created in 1988 by members of the New Ross Lions Club.
Ir was recognized that New Ross had the capaciry to be a majo r tourism area, given the history of the town,
its mariti me tradition and its connectio n with such wellkn own Irish-Ame ricans as the Kennedy fa mily-local fa rmer Patri ck Kennedy crossed to North America in 1849,
and the Kennedy fa mily has maintained close links with Coun ty Wexfo rd since President John F. Kennedy’s histori c rerurn to his ancestral home in 1963.
Celebrating a Maritime Tradition As the building of this teplica emigrant ship co incided wirh the sesqui centennial commemorati on of the Famine,
the project rook on broader and more immedi ate dimensions-and aurhenriciry became paramounr in the design process.
Fortunately, a large collection of documents from Graves & Son survived in the possessio n of David McBride,
whose grandfa ther Ned McBride bought the company in the early 1930s in partnership with Robert Elmes of Cork.
Six metal boxes contained documenrs incl uding crew agreements and captains’ letters fro m all over rhe wo rld.
One document was of particular inreresr: rhe original bill of sale of rhe Dunbrody in August 1845 berween William Graves of New Ross and Reuben Deaves of Cork, who had commissioned the ship together.
A gold mine of information,
Celebrating a Maritime Tradition ir gave rhe main dimensio ns of the ship and other derails of the srrucrure.
From rhis, local marine arrist Garry Fallon was able to draw rhe basic outlines of rhe Dunbrody, even before naval architect Colin Mudie-whose previous projects include the new Indi an sail training ship Tarangini-had come on rhe scene.
In November 1996, Mudie produced a set of drawings fo r the new Dunbrody, which laid out a hull conraining che viral elements of a ship of her rype and purpose,
based on the ship’s original dimensions-I 09.10 feet in length berween perpendiculars and 26.7 feet in breadth. By the summerof 1998, rhe ca rvel-built hull was fully pl anked and the deck beams had been fitted.
At present, the Dunbrody is almost complete srrucrurally.
The mizzen and mainmast have been stepped and rigged; che foremast and bowsprit will soon follow.
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