NEWS RELEASE – IMMEDIATE
Inaugural event, featuring over twenty high-profile speakers, takes place September 6–8 in New Ross, Wexford.
August 29th, 2012: The organisers of the Kennedy Summer School, a festival of Irish American history and politics, have announced that Bobby Kennedy III will be the special guest at this year’s inaugural event. This unique event takes place in New Ross, Co. Wexford from September 6th – 8th 2012, as a precursor to the 50th anniversary in 2013 of John F Kennedy’s iconic visit to New Ross.
Bobby Kennedy III will attend talks and performances during the Summer School, and will be the guest of honour at the tribute to Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the closing event of the Summer School, on Saturday September 8th.
Run in association with the John F. Kennedy Trust in New Ross, the inaugural event will highlight the strength of political, historical and cultural links between Ireland and America through a series of presentations and discussions. Two and a half days of stimulating debate, informative reflections and varied entertainment will showcase the unique Irish American experience in a location steeped in historical relevance. The event is supported by Fáilte Ireland, Wexford Local Development and Tourism Ireland.
American speakers confirmed include Tad Devine, senior strategist to both the John Kerry and Al Gore Presidential campaigns, arriving in Ireland following his attendance at the Democratic National Convention in the US. Also attending will be Sean McGraw, assistant Professor of Politics at Notre Dame University and Dr. Howard Keeley Director of Georgia Southern University Centre for Irish Studies Prominent Irish participants confirmed for the Kennedy Summer School include broadcaster John Bowman; former Irish Times Editor Geraldine Kennedy; author John Waters; former politician Mary O’Rourke; former Minister Nora Owen; Áine Kerr, political editor of Storyful.com, returning from the Republican and Democratic National Conventions in the US; Amnesty International’s Colm O’Gorman; columnist Fergus Finlay and former rugby international Keith Wood.
The Summer School will attract guests and members of the public from across Ireland and the US, with a variety of elements designed to attract all with an interest in Irish American links. “Wexford Voices”, to be held at St. Michael’s Theatre, New Ross, will feature contributions from an esteemed panel of speakers on the theme of Ireland, Irish America and the Kennedy Legacy, to be followed by a musical performance by The Garda Band and musical group Barrowside.
“The Kennedy Civil Rights Legacy – Lessons for Ireland”, presented in association with Waterford Institute of Technology, will feature topical discussions on civil rights developments since JFK’s presidency. Speakers for this event will include the former Northern Ireland civil rights leader Austin Currie. On Saturday 8th September there will be a special tribute night and concert: “Eunice Kennedy Shriver’s Special Legacy”. US playwright Dennis C. McAndrews will be performing his acclaimed one-man play “What if JFK Had Lived?” for the first time in Ireland.
The Kennedy Summer School will build on the special links between New Ross and John F. Kennedy and the extended Kennedy family. President Kennedy’s great grandfather was born in nearby Dunganstown, and the then President visited this homestead in 1963. His tour on that occasion also included an historic public address at New Ross quayside. The 2012 event will set the stage for a more extensive Kennedy Summer School event in 2013, which will be a central component in a programme of activities to mark the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s historic Irish visit. The director of the inaugural Kennedy Summer School is the barrister and political commentator Noel Whelan.
Tickets to the event are limited and now on sale from http://www.kennedysummerschool.ie/.
For further information please contact Glenn Hogarty, Limelight Communications on (01) 668 0600.
Note to Editor:
THE JOHN F. KENNEDY TRUST
The John F. Kennedy Trust is a charitable trust founded in 1988 to support the social, economic and tourist development of New Ross town and the surrounding area and to commemorate the historic legacy of the Kennedy family. The trust is currently involved in a number of projects in New Ross, most prominently the replica Dunbrody Famine Ship moored at New Ross’s south quay and the recently expanded Emigration History visitor centre also at New Ross south quay.
This visitor centre also houses the Irish America Hall of Fame. The Irish America Hall of Fame was founded by Irish America magazine in November 2010 and recognises extraordinary figures in the Irish American community who have had a profound effect on the Irish in America and strengthened the bonds between the United States and Ireland.