Good NewsFamily96-Year-Old Grandpa Returns to Hometown in Ireland One Last Time

96-Year-Old Grandpa Returns to Hometown in Ireland One Last Time

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A family has shared beautiful footage of their 96-year-old grandpa returning to his hometown in Ireland from America one last time.

John Kissing, from Syracuse, New York, emigrated to the United States in 1949 but has always held his hometown of Balldavid, in Tipperary, close to his heart.

Hi granddaughter Juliet, 25, said the 96-year-old’s face lights up when talking about childhood stories and when Irish music comes on.

So she and her family knew they had to make one more trip for her grandpa work.

Over the course of a year, the family planned the epic trip, which saw all seven of John’s children travel, as well as almost all of his grandchildren.

John before he emigrated to the States in the 1940s. ©Juliet Hall / T&T Creative Media

Along the way, Juliet documented John’s travels – which saw him visit his old school, where he recited Shakespeare and played handball; walk to his childhood home; visit his parents’ grave; and ride a boat.

John was also able to visit his sister, Rita, and his brother, Matt, during his visit between June 21 and June 30.

Sharing this experience with him meant so much to the family, Juliet said, as John had only returned to Ireland about seven or eight times in the past 74 years.

The fact that this trip was likely the last time he would return tugged at the heartstrings of those on social media, who left comments on Juliet’s video of John’s travels, saying it had brought tears to their eyes.

John reunites with his brother, who still lives in Ireland. ©Juliet Hall / T&T Creative Media
John reunites with family members who still live in Ireland. ©Juliet Hall / T&T Creative Media

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Juliet, who lives in Ohio, said: “It’s hard to put the experience into a few words – I feel extremely grateful and blessed to have been able to be on that trip and get to experience this with my grandfather being there to tell the stories.

“I can honestly say that he did not stop smiling the entire time.

“You could see how happy he was to be back and to be able to share it with his children and grandchildren.

“It is a trip and experience I will never forget.


“It was also emotional at times, in the best way possible, to see my 96-year-old grandfather just enjoying every moment and being in his element.

“These memories will be cherished forever.

John and his extended family from both sides of the Atlantic. ©Juliet Hall / T&T Creative Media

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“I put the video together because I wanted to have all the clips I got of him enjoying his time in one video, as well as captioning each one to explain what was going on so I could look back at it and remember exactly what was happening in those moments.

“I decided to upload it to my Instagram and TikTok and did not expect that many people to see it – I woke up to thousands of likes, comments, and messages.

“I had extended family members from all over reaching out that they had seen the video and also had random people direct messaging me and telling me that they wish they had the opportunity to do something like this with their grandparents.

“I’ve had such positive feedback with it, apparently making strangers cry and also making their day, as well as people wanting to join the family.”


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