Thomas Fitzgerald Centre

To visit the Fitzgerald Centre please make contact via our email address or social media sites.

Thomas Fitzgerald Centre (JFK) of 1926 replaced an earlier three-storey courthouse. Events occurring in the courthouse led to reforms in the legal profession which are documented by the plaque on the facade, the Plaque reads: ‘Arising Out Of Events Which Took Place in Bruff Courthouse in 1829, The Right Of The Citizen To Professional Representation In Magistrates Court Was First Established. This Plaque was unveiled by Justice Mary O’Halloran on Thursday, October 2nd 2003’.

The Thomas Fitzgerald Centre is dedicated to the memory of Thomas Fitzgerald, great 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.

This wonderful centre is a fitting tribute to the world-famous family. Including the Fitzgerald family tree mural, a John F. Kennedy 1963 Limerick visit photo exhibition, and an exhibition from the Caroline Kennedy visit of 2013 as well as the plaque Caroline unveiled on her visit.

The Thomas Fitzgerald Centre 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 bible is leather bound with a gold leaf cross on the cover.  It contains 5 handwritten pages of the Fitzgerald family record, starting with Thomas A. Fitzgerald in 1857.  There are notes for the engagement of Rose E. Fitzgerald and Joseph P. Kennedy, their marriage in October 1914, and a list of births for their nine children.