Courtney first of the Kennedys to get Irish citizenship

Courtney Kennedy, first in the family with an Irish passport

Courtney Kennedy, daughter of Robert Kennedy, is the first of the modern-day Kennedy family to become an Irish citizen.

Courtney is the first Kennedy to have an Irish passport since Patrick Kennedy used his travel papers to leave Ireland in the 1840s.

Patrick could hardly have foreseen that generations later a descendant would be in the White House and now, one of his descendants can return to Ireland as much a citizen of that land as he is.

In addition, Courtney's daughter Saoirse, who was born in the U.S., holds dual citizenship and could run for President of either country.

"That means I could vote for her in both countries," laughed Courtney.

Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith was awarded honorary Irish citizenship, but because Patrick was her great grandfather she was not entitled to an Irish passport, as it needs to be at the grandfather level.

Courtney received her passport through her husband, former Guildford 4 member Paul Hill, who is an Irish citizen. They live in Washington with Saoirse.

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair famously apologized to Courtney Kennedy in 1999 for the entire Guildford affair that resulted in four innocent people spending their youth in prison.

It also sets up an interesting anomaly with her uncle Ted taking an honorary British knighthood recently, while his niece took her Irish citizenship.

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