karen oconnor 6/16/17 to me Kennedy Summer School - A Festival of Irish-American History, Culture and Politics

Event News

10 June 2018

Kennedy Summer School 2018 – 6th, 7th, 8th of September! WELCOME

We are happy and honoured to introduce another instalment of what has become a “can’t miss” weekend on the Irish political calendar. Since its founding in 2012, the Kennedy Summer School has featured leading figures from the worlds of politics, academia, media, culture, business – and more. Attendees in New Ross this 6th – 8th of September 2018 will be witness to a similarly strong line-up of speakers, moderators, entertainers and other high-profile contributors.

2018 is the 50th Anniversary of the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy and the summer school will consider his all too short life and extraordinary legacy. We are especially delighted to welcome home to County Wexford his daughter, Kerry Kennedy, who is our very special guest of honour this year. Additionally, a dear friend of three of the Kennedy brothers, Gerard Doherty, will share some of the political tales and personal anecdotes from his new memoir, They Were My Friends – Jack, Bob and Ted: My Life in and out of Politics.

2018 is also the 50th Anniversary of the John F. Kennedy Memorial Park and Arboretum – a fitting tribute to the Boston-born man who rose to become President of the United States. He never forgot that he was of Ireland – we will celebrate this wonderful monument and treasured resource with a dinner hosted by the Office of Public Works on Saturday evening.

2018 will also be a year in which the Brexit process moves towards its final stage. A powerhouse panel, with both vast expertise on the key issues and rich personal awareness of what it could all mean, will examine the myriad complexities that have flowed since this political earthquake hit more than two years ago.

Attention will again focus on the 2016 electoral shock on the other side of the Atlantic. The Trump presidency is, and will be for the foreseeable future, the number one topic of conversation around the globe. We are happy to be joined for a interview by John Weaver, a top Republican political consultant, and our American politics panel will flush out the state of play ahead of this year’s mid-term elections.

Finally three extra special guests who are esteemed household names will be with us. RTE broadcaster Miriam O Callaghan, celebrity chief Rachel Allen and comedian Brendan Grace.

In this programme, there is something for everyone and plenty more besides. The discussions and debates among attendees and participants that occur during the breaks and in the evenings – over coffee, meals or pints – are cited as particularly stimulating.

In short, we are proud of the Kennedy Summer School. We really hope you will enjoy it again, or for the very first time, in 2018.

Larry Donnelly and Dr. Brian Murphy Co-Directors, Kennedy Summer School 2018

2018 Programme

Day by day programme
Available for download...

Themes & Events

  • We Shall Overcome and other Songs
  • Reflections on a Referendum
  • Trump, Immigrants, Jobs and Guns American Politics Panel
  • Presidential Elections and Political Persuasion
  • Kennedy Summer School History Symposium
  • ‘The Final Year’
  • ‘Meeting Miriam’
  • Brexit Endgame: Implications for Ireland, North and South
  • Inspiring Ambition over Adversity
  • Profiles in Sporting Courage A special panel of Irish sporting greats