The story connecting the rural town of Bruff, in County Limerick, and the 35th President of the United States of America began in 1852. It was then, following the great famine, that a young emigrant named Thomas Fitzgerald left his native home in Bruff, and made his way to America in search of a better life.
He settled in Boston, where he worked hard and prospered. One of his sons John “Honey” Fitzgerald was a three term Mayor of Boston. His grandson John Fitzgerald Kennedy would be elected by the House of Representatives, to the U.S Congress and become the 35th President of the United States of America.
The Thomas Fitzgerald Centre, formerly the old Courthouse was officially dedicated in memory of Thomas Fitzgerald on the 21st of June 2013 by Caroline Kennedy, daughter of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Every generation of the Fitzgerald Kennedy family have visited their ancestral home in Bruff.
The Centre now displays an array of photographs, including some from the visit of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy to Ireland in 1963, the visit of Caroline Kennedy to Bruff in 2013, and also includes photographs of various members of the Fitzgerald Kennedy Family.The Centre is also home to a hand painted mural depicting the Fitzgerald family tree, the only one of its type in the world.
The Centre also houses a local Heritage display, showcasing some of the unique history associated with Bruff and the surrounding areas.
The Centre is now operated as a visitor centre by Bruff Heritage Group,The Centre is open every weekday from 10am to 2pm, and otherwise by appointment. We would love to welcome you, and share with you the extraordinary history of our extraordinary town. New phone number for Thomas Fitzgerald Centre: 085-2358642.