Taoiseach Enda Kenny in Boston for Boston College commencement

The Taoiseach joined Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis at the temporary memorial to the Boston marathon bombings at Copley Square.


Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny received an honorary degree and will also be the official commencement speaker at the Boston College 137th graduation ceremony.

University Spokesman Jack Dunn said that Boston College is delighted to have the Taoiseach speak at its Commencement, given the school’s historic ties to Ireland and Northern Ireland.

“Prime Minister Kenny is an internationally respected leader with a well-known reputation for promoting human rights and causes of social justice, two issues that resonate with the Boston College community.”

“It also seems fitting, during our 150th anniversary, to welcome the leader of a nation whose history is intertwined with our own. We look forward to having the Taoiseach address our students on May 20.”

The BC graduation ceremony has been well-publicized recently, but for controversial reasons. Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley is to boycott the Taoiseach’s visit to Boston College over Ireland’s move to legislate for abortion.

The Catholic Church leader will not attend the College’s commencement when Kenny will deliver the keynote speech. The Cardinal declared that he will not attend the event in light of Kenny’s support for pro-abortion legislation in Ireland.

A statement from O’Malley said US bishops have urged Catholic institutions not to honor government officials who ‘promote abortion’ with their policies.

C J Doyle of the Catholic Action League, said of the college’s decision to invite Mr Kenny “Even for a university whose Catholic identity is as compromised as that of BC, this decision is shameful and dishonorable."

However, the college stood their ground and refused to withdraw their invitation. Jack Dunn responded “Boston College invited Prime Minister Kenny to speak at our Commencement in celebration of our Sesquicentennial anniversary and the historically close relationship Boston College has enjoyed with Ireland. We look forward to having him on May 20.”

The Taoiseach who has been in Boston since Saturday also attended a dinner at the JFK library on Saturday night. On Sunday he attended mass at St Brigid’s in South Boston before joining Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis in laying a wreath at the temporary memorial to the Boston marathon bombings. Sunday evening, the Taoiseach attended a private dinner at Boston College.

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