DUBLIN — Oscar Wilde still lounges, louche-like, on a boulder in Merrion Square. As always, the Liffey, a river crossed by bridges named for playwrights and patriots, lumbers its way to the sea. Grafton Street is packed with moneyed pedestrians. But Irish ayes are missing.
The Gathering, as they call this year, is a campaign backed by the government and the tourism industry to induce the clamorous clans of Erin to pay a visit here.
Yet what should be a diaspora of 70 million to the home of their ancestors is clouded by a bittersweet anniversary. Fifty years ago, President John F. Kennedy came to the land of his great-grandfather Patrick. A few months later he was gone, shot by an assassin in Dallas. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.