On Wednesday 19 November, TG4 will broadcast Kennedy’s Cadets, produced by Co. Waterford production company, Nemeton. This is a peach of nostalgia, looking back to the traumatic funeral of J. F. Kennedy in Washington in 1963. It seemed a time of hope and innocence when 26 Irish Defence Force cadets performed a silent weapons drill at the graveside in Arlington cemetery. An almost forgotten moment, when the grieving Kennedy family invited/requested these cadets who had so impressed Kennedy during his historic visit to Ireland.
Narrated by Carrie Crowley, this programme uses archive footage and newly shot material to explore the impact this event had on the lives of the cadets, who were mostly eighteen at the time. They actually travelled without passports on the same plane as President De Valera to the funeral.
The production team brought twenty three of those cadets back to the Curragh to talk about the funeral and brought three of them to the graveside where an Eternal Flame flickers.
Producer/director was Geraldine Heffernan who was a graduate of the WIT/Nemeton run course that was started two years ago under the watchful presence of Humanities Department Head Ray Cullen, who must be very pleased to see his promised ambition come to excellent fruition. Isn’t it nice to see promise fulfilled?