The Thomas Fitzgerald Centre is dedicated to the memory of Thomas Fitzgerald, grandfather of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy.
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.
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 has 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.
A life-size bronze statue of John F Kennedy was unveiled here in May 2019. The bible that is part of the statue is the one his great-grandfather, Thomas Fitzgerald, brought with him when he emigrated from Bruff to Boston in 1852, and it was the same one that was used by JFK when he was inaugurated as US President in January 1961.
The Fitzgerald Centre opening hours are 10 am to 2 pm Monday to Friday- except for classes Monday, and Friday 10 to 11 am and Tuesday morning 11:30 to 12:30 where the centre is in use.