Emmet Square with its fine Georgian doorways and centre garden was laid out between 1785 and 1810 to accommodate the wealthy merchants of the growing and prosperous town. It was originally called Shannon Square, after the Earls of Shannon who were descendants of Richard Boyle, 1st Early of Cork. The gardens in the centre are today called Kennedy Gardens after the Irish-American president. Following his tragic death in 1963 many towns up and down the country named streets, parks, bridges etc. in his honour. When this garden was named in his honour it was not known by the then councillors that John F. Kennedy had indeed Clonakilty connections.