Saoirse Kennedy Hill died unexpectedly last week at the Kennedy family compound in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts
Saoirse Kennedy Hill was mourned by family and friends at a private funeral at Our Lady of Victory Church in Barnstable, Massachusetts on Monday, August 5 following the 22-year-old's unexpected death last week.
From the funeral, which was closed to the media, reporter Jason Kolnos shared a picture of the service’s program that featured a poem entitled ‘When Saoirse’s Eyes are Smiling,' an adaptation of the Irish tune 'When Irish Eyes Are Smiling:"
It read: "When Saoirse's eyes are smiling, sure, 'tis like the morn in Spring. In the lilt of Irish laughter, you can hear the angels sing. When Irish hearts are happy, All the world seems bright and gay. And when Saoirse's eyes are smiling, sure, they steal your heart away."
Dozens of family and friends joined together in mourning at Our Lady of Victory Church, the same church where Eunice Kennedy Shriver's funeral was hosted in 2009 and where Caroline Kennedy got married in 1986.
ABC World News Tonight shared a video on Twitter of Ethel Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy's widow, arriving at her granddaughter's service:
REST IN PEACE: Robert F. Kennedy widow Ethel joined family members at a Cape Cod church for the funeral of 22-year-old granddaughter Saoirse Kennedy Hill, who was found unresponsive at the family compound; investigators are awaiting toxicology reports. https://t.co/nXKS6e2uEq pic.twitter.com/A4VY1cHRC5— World News Tonight (@ABCWorldNews) August 5, 2019
After the funeral, Joseph Kennedy III tweeted:
We love you Saoirse, and always will.— Rep. Joe Kennedy III (@RepJoeKennedy) August 5, 2019
Who is Saoirse Kennedy Hill?
Kennedy Hill was the only child of Courtney Kennedy, daughter to the late Robert F. Kennedy, and Paul Hill, a member of the 'Guildford Four' who were wrongly imprisoned for their suspected involvement with an IRA bombing in 1974.
The 22-year-old, who had spent a lot of time in Ireland as a child, was set to begin her senior year at Boston College in the coming weeks where she was a Communications major and Vice President of the College Democrats.
The Irish American had previously spoken about her struggles with depression and mental health, writing in a 2016 piece for her high school newspaper: “My depression took root in the beginning of my middle school years and will be with me for the rest of my life. Although I was mostly a happy child, I suffered bouts of deep sadness that felt like a heavy boulder on my chest."
Kennedy Hill died last Thursday at Cape Cod Hospital after being found unresponsive at the Kennedy compound in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts.
Authorities said afterward in a statement: “An autopsy performed today has revealed no trauma inconsistent with lifesaving measures. The cause and manner of death are pending the toxicology report.”
In a statement, the Kennedy family said: "Our hearts are shattered by the loss of our beloved Saoirse."
“She lit up our lives with her love, her peals of laughter and her generous spirit,” the family said. “[She] was passionately moved by the causes of human rights and women’s empowerment and found great joy in volunteer work, working alongside indigenous communities to build schools in Mexico. We will love her and miss her forever.”