This philosophy is still evident in Kennedy’s approach six years later. With his hands-on involvement in the Northern Ireland peace process and his love of his ancestral home, Kennedy is a true friend to Ireland.
“He is a chieftain, which is what the old Irish word Taoiseach actually means” says Niall O’Dowd, publisher of Irish America, in explaining the choice of Kennedy as Irish American of the Year. ”He has led the cause of Ireland on Capitol Hill for over a generation now and has often received little recognition in return. I am convinced that when the history of this era is written, however, that he will loom largest of all. He deserves the gratitude and respect of every Irish American for what he has done.