Fifty years after JFK visited his ancestral home – and 164 years after his great-grandfather left it – New Ross, Co. Wexford will welcome cousins Rory Kennedy and Ted Kennedy Jr. as speakers at the Kennedy Summer School. The summer school, a festival of Irish and American culture, history and politics, will be held the weekend of September 12-14.
The Irish Times reports that Rory Kennedy will be on hand to present the Irish premiere of “Ethel,” a feature-length documentary examining the life of her mother, Ethel Kennedy. Rory, the youngest daughter of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, describes the film as a “private look inside a highly public life.” The film, which was shown on HBO in the U.S., has been nominated for five Emmy awards in the U.S.
After the screening, the award-winning documentary filmmaker will take part in a discussion panel with the audience. Afterwards, she is scheduled to fly back to Los Angeles, where she will attend the Emmy Awards ceremony.
Ted Kennedy Jr. will speak about the accomplishments of his father, the late Sen. Ted Kennedy. Speaking at the launch of the Kennedy Summer School, director Noel Whelan said that the younger Kennedy will talk about his father’s work in the U.S. Senate. It will focus on the senator’s “contribution to Ireland, to American politics and American social affairs,” he said.
Whelan said that the celebration will be held annually, and will focus on more than simply the anniversary of JFK’s visit to Ireland. The summer school will also celebrate the legacy of Kennedy’s presidency, and the profound impact it had on on the Irish psyche, both political and personal.
Among the other speakers scheduled to take part in the Kennedy Summer School are Fine Gael Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton, Sinn Fein TD Pearse Doherty and Fianna Fail leader Michael Martin.