Ted Kennedy Jr. recalls father as Irish champion, says 'I miss him terribly'
Members of the Irish community gathered at a memorial Mass in New York Thursday to remember Sen. Edward Kennedy, just over 12 weeks after his death. The senator’s son, Edward Kennedy Jr., Christine Quinn, Speaker of New York City Council, and Irish Consul General Niall Burgess were among those present at Holy Trinity Church on the Upper West Side .
After Communion, Kennedy Jr. spoke about his family, saying his grandmother Rose would talk about the days when she saw signs saying “no dogs, no Irish.” It was easier for the Irish to succeed in politics because there was less prejudice in that profession than in others, he suggested. “He was so proud of how far we’ve come,” he said of his father. “Civil rights and human rights were something he believed in strongly.”
Kennedy Jr. also recounted an anecdote his father loved to tell: When he visited New York once, a woman came up to him and asked if people always thought he was Ted Kennedy. When he said they did, she replied, “Doesn’t that make you mad as hell?!
“In politics you have to celebrate these wonderful moments,” Kennedy Jr. said. He read two passages from the late Senator's memoir, "True Compass," in which Kennedy spoke about how important his Catholic faith was to him. And he recalled visits to Ireland he made with his father.
“I miss my dad terribly today,” he said.
“Ted Kennedy represented a whole realm of possibilities,” said Siobhan Dennehy, executive director of the Emerald Isle Immigration Center.
“The Kennedy family came from humble beginnings but they never forgot the underdog. Ted always worked to promote assistance for people who needed it.”
The ceremony gave due to the issues Kennedy cared about in his political career and personal life. At the Prayers of the Faithful, Dennehy prayed for immigration reform and a bill “Ted Kennedy would have been proud of.” Rob Dunne, president of the Brehon Law society, prayed that peace in Northern Ireland would continue to prevail.
“There’s a natural connection between everything Senator Kennedy did and everything the Brehon Law Society continues to fight for,” Dunne said later, speaking to Irish central. “Civil rights, human rights, and peace in Northern Ireland.”
After the Mass, there was a reception in the Murphy Center beneath the church, where guests lingered over wine and food. Margaret Fogarty had come in a bus from the Emerald Isle Center to the event. Originally from Kerry, she now lives in Woodlawn; she came to the States in 1954.
“I think it was beautiful, the Kennedys so deserve it,” she said of the Mass. “I sort of grew up with the Kennedys because I’ve been in America for a long time.”
Others praised the Lion of the Senate's commitment to civil rights. “His family has meant so much for the civil rights and civil causes,” said Claudia Barton, from Queens, as she sipped a glass of wine. Her colleague, Ezra King added, “the initiative for healthcare – he started that. Obama just took the ball and ran with it.”
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"RECOVERY" My Arse The Country is in so much debt just about paying interest while borrowing 1 bl per month They have just been caught robbiThe New York Times questions Ireland’s highly-praised economic recovery
A bit of sleight of hand, I think. Rather than look into cleaning up the economy in the US, they'd rather try to find someone worse off. I wonder if tOffensive NFL sign outside restaurant just a symptom of a larger problem
Hi Chuck, if we get rid of red, what will Carl Rove do? After all it was his idea to associate red with the Republican Party.How Christmas was in my father’s time
I don't mean to be rude but I am aghast as to why your Father walked barefoot in the middle of Winter & also such a distance as every small villag