Another Successful Kennedy Summer School

Kennedy Summer School filled with thought-provoking debates, discussions and guest lectures

The seventh annual Kennedy Summer School was officially opened last Thursday evening (Sept 5th) by Former Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland Seamus Mallon as he participated in a public interview with Eileen Dunne discussing his fascinating career and his recently published memoir, “A Shared Home Place” and his perspective on current developments, or lack of them, in Northern Ireland. Commenting during his interview Mr Mallon said, “I don’t regret, in fact, I thank god, that we took the path we did.’ On the border poll, he says 50 per cent plus one is not enough. Not in these circumstances .somehow we should be sober to quantify the view of the unionists.”He is considered to be one of the key negotiators of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.

Following the interview with Seamus Mallon, the leader of the Catholic Church Archbishop Eamon Martin warned that the ongoing absence of a Northern Assembly, increasing sectarianism and the looming presence of Brexit are causing Ireland and Britain to go through a period of dangerous political, social and economic uncertainty. Following the interviews of the evening, multi-platinum singer and songwriter Brian Kennedy took to the stage to entertain the full house at St. Michael’s Theatre.

Earlier at New Ross Library on Thursday evening, distinguished
 former public servant
 Felix M. Larkin donated his personal Kennedy collection to the Kennedy Book and Research Archive. A panel discussion on the topic of ‘Being Protestant and Irish’ was also hosted by Dr Ian D’Alton, from the Centre of Contemporary Irish History at Trinity College, Dr Ida Milne, from Carlow College who is also the Vice-Chair of the Oral History Network of Ireland, Dr Deirdre Nuttal and Felix M. Larkin, Independent Academics.

On Friday morning events commenced at St. Mary’s Secondary School in Irishtown as Communications Expert Gina London, Maureen Dowd and Shawn McCreesh from the New York Times and singer Brian Kennedy took to the stage to share details of the challenges they all met in their careers and how they overcame those challenges. At New Ross Library illustrator Lauren O’Neill hosted a workshop with primary school children and at St. Michael’s Theatre Failte Ireland hosted a Tourism Forum with stakeholders within the industry attending from all across the southeast.

Micheal Martin was the keynote speaker at the Kennedy Summer School Speakers Lunch, speaking at the event he called on the Government to be ‘absolutely honest’ about its plans for the Irish border post-Brexit in a public address, following his address he was interviewed by Robert Mac Giolla Phadraig CCO of Sigmar Recruitment.

At the theatre that evening events commenced with a discussion on sporting courage as Sarah O’Shea; Chief Executive of Wexford GAA Gearoid Devitt, Wexford inter-county camogie player Ursula Jacob and inter-county player for the Wexford senior hurling team Lee Chin took to the stage with Evanne Ní Chuilinn.

At 7 pm An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar arrived at the summer school to offer an address and participate in a q&a. He was welcomed to the stage by Sinead McSweeney wife of the late Noel Whelan, who was the founder of the Kennedy Sumer School, Sinead thanked the community and people for their support.

An Taoiseach opened his address with a tribute to Noel, stating that “Noel was able to imagine a better and a kinder Ireland and then he worked to make it happen. I never felt that he was partisan. He was a patriot that helped make the world a better place.”

In his speech, An Taoiseach said, he would like to see postal or consulate-voting rights extended to the Irish abroad adding that there is no such thing as second class Irish citizenship.

Speaking of Brexit he said, “That post-Brexit an EU/UK foreign trade agreement would take many years to hammer out and Britain would be ‘breaking ‘ records’ if they manage to reach a deal within 3 to 4 years.” And in relation to the deal he said, “I still think it’s possible for us to secure an agreement. We can’t accept a promise that it’ll be sorted out later.”

Speaking on the visit by Vice President Pence this week An Taoiseach said, “He’s a normal politician if you like – for want of a better term. I do think his comments in relation to Brexit could have been more balanced.”

Following the address from An Taoiseach a discussion on the similarities and differences between the Irish legal system and constitutional framework and that of the United States particularly in the area of personal and human rights was put into focus as professor of Law at NUI Galway Donncha O’Connell, Dr Jennifer Kavanagh Lecturer in Law in Waterford Institute of Technology, Ruadhán Mac Cormaic Assistant Editor at The Irish Times joined a panel chaired by Noleen Blackwell.

This event was followed by the Kennedy Summer School Interview with graduate of MIT and Yale Law School, where his classmates included Bill and Hillary Clinton and President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, Former Congressman Bruce Morrison who was interviewed by Caitriona Perry. During his interview Mr Morrison Said, “Brexit is a terrible tragedy as it is undoing one very important step of Europe coming together, continuing that it can also compromise the “victory” of Good Friday Agreement.”

On Saturday morning the Summer School opened with its History Symposium and looked back at 1959, 1979 and 1989, Ronan McGreevy discussed Seán Lemass. Discussing the political life of Charlie Haughey Conor Lenihan, a former Fianna Fáil TD was joined by Peter Murtagh, an Irish Times security correspondent, who covered Haughey as Taoiseach and co-authored “The Boss”. Also on Saturday morning, thirty years since the fall of the Berlin Wall Former Czech Ambassador to the United States Michael Žantovský and Former Labour Party leader, Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Dick Spring looked back at this iconic event and the impact on European politics, the European Union and the United States’ relationship with Europe.

At noon a keynote address was delivered by distinguished New York Times columnist
 Maureen Dowd. In an extended public interview with Larry Donnelly, she discussed her monumental career stemming from her position as an editorial assistant for The Washington Star in 1974, to writing for major global publications on a series of topics from politics to gender. Maureen says that as a child she was, “I was ‘Little Miss Ireland” recognizing her father’s influence on her life. She shared insights to her working life covering nine Presidential election campaigns including a moment when Barrack Obama said to her, “You are really irritating,” referring to her media articles which often unveiled an ‘uncool’ side of the then Presidential candidate. Speaking Borris Johnson and Donald Trump, Maureen says, “Johnson and Trump have created enormous chaos, and that they have tapped into a mix of anger and nostalgia.”

At 2 pm a session on Irish Politics was hosted as ‘Budget, Brexit & Election Time?’ was the topic of conservation for Regina Doherty TD, Jim O’Callaghan TD, Joan Burton TD and Kathleen Funchion as it was chaired by Dr Ciara Kelly. Speaking on Brexit Jim O’Callaghan says, ““We have to be very clear that we want to stick with the path of the European Union…It would be reckless to decide now is a good opportunity to go and have an election in Ireland…We need stability while there’s chaos elsewhere,” Speaking on the upcoming budget Joan Burton says “We’re at an extraordinary both dangerous and interesting time in Irish history…I do think we need a serious conversation of what we can do…We need to frame a budget that looks after the wellbeing of the nation but is also very cautious,”


At 3 pm the twists and turns of the Brexit negotiations, the border issue and UK Ireland relations were discussed by Democratic
Unionist Party, Chief Whip at Westminster Jeffrey Donaldson MP and Senator, Former Tánaiste and Minister for Justice Michael McDowell SC., Colum Eastwood Party Leader of the SDLP and Alliance Party Cllr for Castlereagh South Lisburn / Casltereagh South, Sorcha Eastwood.

There have been conversations over many years…what Brexit has done is up the tempo of that debate…where the real conversations need to be happening, they’re not happening,” Jeffery Donaldson tells the chair Audrey Carville, lamenting the absence of north-south ministerial bodies. He continued, “One of the reasons I am here today is because I believe we need to be talking to each other…We do need to look at the relationship and strengthen what we have.”

In his paper presented at the Kennedy Summer School, Senator McDowell makes the case for a confederal form of Irish unity in which the two parts of Ireland agree to share sovereignty, including EU membership while retaining their separate identities. He suggests that Northern Ireland could leave the UK but still retain some form of link to the Crown, like Canada or New Zealand, while a member of an Irish confederation in order to give substance to the guaranteed dimension of Britishness under the Good Friday Agreement in the event of Irish unity. The Meaning Of Irish Unity Will Decide If It Can Be Agreed.

Jeffery Donaldson says, “I believe there is going to be a deal. I don’t believe the UK will leave on no deal.”

At 4 pm Suffolk County’s District Attorney Rachael Rollins offered her perspective on law and politics in today’s USA in a public interview. DA Rollins tells interviewer Kevin Cullen of the Boston Globe that “Over 50% of people who come in contact with the criminal justice system, it’s a social crisis they are having,” The final panel discussion of the 2019 Summer School was chaired by Larry Donnelly as he was joined by Rachael Rollins, Cal Thomas, Sarah Elliott, Niall O’Dowd, Michael Lonergan who debated US Politics and Election 2020.

The Kennedy Summer School official closing event on Saturday evening marked the rollout of Fáilte Ireland’s Taste the Island initiative with a gala dinner at the John F. Kennedy Arboretum with special guest Mario Rosenstock. 

The Summer School which is deliberately held outside the peak tourist season brings significant economic benefit to the town and surrounding area with visitors from the US, the UK, France, Germany and all across Ireland pitching up in New Ross for the three-day event.

Commenting on the successful Summer School, Chair Willie Keilthy said, “We are delighted to have delivered a very successful summer school, one which founder of the school Noel Whelan would have been very proud of. All of the participants this year have provoked thought, reflection and inspired our audiences throughout each of the discussions, and the 2019 Kennedy Summer School has yet again lived up to its fast-growing reputation for being wholly contemporary, modern and unafraid of challenging the ‘norm’.”

The Kennedy Summer School and Festival is run in association with the John F. Kennedy Trust, New Ross and Wexford County Council. Audio recordings and videos of the 2019 Kennedy Summer School events are now available to listen to and view on www.kennedysummerschool.ie

Brexit, Budget and the Trump administration set for the spotlight with global experts at the Kennedy Summer School 2019

On Saturday, September 7th Brexit, the upcoming budget and the possibility of an imminent general election will be all be discussed in detail by the expert guest speakers at the 2019 Kennedy Summer School which will take place in New Ross, County Wexford from September 5th to 7th.

At 2 pm on Saturday afternoon in a session chaired by Dr Ciara Kelly panellists Regina Doherty TD, Jim O’Callaghan TD, Mick Wallace MEP and Joan Burton TD will participate in what will doubt be a lively discussion on Irish politics, Brexit negotiations, the imminent budget and whether it is time for a general election.

Directly afterwards at 3 pm that afternoon, DUP Chief Whip at Westminster Jeffrey Donaldson MP and former Tánaiste and Minister for Justice Senator Michael Mcdowell will take to the stage at St. Michael’s Theatre to discuss the twists and turns of Brexit. The spotlight has been very much on Northern Ireland in 2019 not least because the question of a “backstop” ensuring a soft or no border on the island of Ireland has been centre stage during various stages of Brexit negotiations. There is a prospect of both Dáil elections and Westminster elections later this year or early next year. Talks are likely to continue between the Northern Ireland parties and the two governments about the prospect of revitalising the political institutions at Stormont. In the more medium term, the workings out of the Brexit process and the increasing attention on whether and when there might be a border poll demands consideration in the wider context of relationships between the people and traditions on these islands.

And at 4.45pm that afternoon the US Politics panel discussion will be chaired by NUI Galway Law Lecturer and Political Commentator Larry Donnelly and he will be joined by prominent American political expert panellists, Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins, US columnists Cal Thomas, Chair of Republicans Overseas UK Sarah Elliott, founder of Irish America magazine, Irish Voice newspaper and www.Irish Central.com Niall O’Dowd and Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of Ireland in Washington DC Michael Lonergan. They will discuss and debate the future of the Trump administration and will reflect on his time in office to date, consider his chances of re-election in 2020 and also discuss the particularly crowded race for the Democratic nominee.

Archbishop Eamon Martin set to discuss the role of faith in politics at 2019 Kennedy Summer School

The leader of the Irish Catholic Church, Archbishop Eamon Martin, will be a keynote speaker at the Kennedy Summer School in County Wexford on the opening evening of the 2019 Kennedy Summer School, Thursday, September 5th. The Archbishop of Armagh and Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Dromore, Primate of All Ireland, President of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference and Chancellor of the Pontifical University, Maynooth will deliver the Edward M. Kennedy lecture on the role of faith in politics.

More than 50 years after his inauguration, John F Kennedy remains the only successful Catholic candidate for US presidency. His 1960 presidential win was a milestone moment for both Irish Americans and Catholics in the United States.

Thomas H. Groome, who is a senior Professor of Theology and Religious Education at Boston College and is the long-serving Director of its PhD programme in Theology and Education will set the Archbishop’s lecture in context discussing the role which Kennedy’s Catholicism and the faith of politicians has been an issue in political campaigns. Archbishop Eamon Martin will deliver the keynote lecture. Archbishop Martin is Archbishop of Armagh and Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Dromore, Primate of All Ireland, President of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference and Chancellor of the Pontifical University, Maynooth. He is also chair of the Council for Communications of the Bishops’ Conference. Replies to the lecture will come from Senator Ivana Bacik, Professor of Law in Trinity College and Michael Kelly, Editor of The Irish Catholic and an award-winning writer and broadcaster specialising in religious and social affairs. The event will be moderated by Dr Robert M. Mauro.

The annual Kennedy Summer School is set to host a number of expert discussions and is billed as ‘A Festival of Irish and American, History, Politics and Culture’. There will be over 50 guest speakers participating over three days on a wide range of different subjects and organisers say that Brexit and Ireland’s relationship with the U.S. will feature prominently.

There will be a series of public interviews including an audience with An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, distinguished New York Times columnist, winner of the 1999 Pulitzer
Prize and author of three New York Times bestsellers, Maureen Dowd, Former Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland Seamus Mallon, Archbishop Eamon Martin, former Congressman and classmate of Bill and Hillary Clinton Bruce Morrison, Micheál Martin TD, Stefanie Preissner, Dick Spring, Mick Wallace, Joan Burton, Michael McDowell and more Politicians, News correspondents, authors and leading global academics and many more will all partake in the 2019 Kennedy Summer School.

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Michael Martin TD set for interviews at the Kennedy Summer School 2019 with Bob Mauro of Boston College

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Micheál Martin TD Leader of Fianna Fáil will be interviewed by the Executive Director of the Irish Institute and Global Leadership Institute at Boston College and Co-Director of the Kennedy Summer School Dr Robert M. Mauro on Friday, September 6th at the seventh annual Kennedy Summer School in New Ross County Wexford.

Micheál Martin TD is set to take to the stage to deliver an address at 12.30 at the Kennedy Summer School Speakers Lunch which will be hosted by Boston College at the JFK Arboretum and Memorial Park. Delegates and guests will be very anxious to hear what Micheál Martin as Leader of the Opposition has to say about topical political events including Budget 2020 which will take place 4 weeks later. His address will also no doubt focus on the finalisation of the Brexit negotiations including their implications for the timing of a General Election in Ireland. Afterwards his speech he will participate in a public interview with Dr Mauro.

Later in the afternoon, An Taoiseach Mr Leo Varadkar will take to the stage at St Michael’s Theatre at 7.15 pm on Friday 6th September. The Taoiseach will make a short address and also participate in a public interview with Dr Mauro. In the past, Bertie Ahern and Brian Cowen have both addressed the Kennedy Summer School, but this is the first time that a serving Taoiseach will participate in the Summer School.

The annual Kennedy Summer School is set to host a number of expert discussions and is billed as ‘A Festival of Irish and American, History, Politics and Culture’. There will be over 50 guest speakers participating over three days on a wide range of different subjects and organisers say that Brexit and Ireland’s relationship with the U.S. will feature prominently. Events will take place from September 5th to 7th in New Ross County Wexford.

There will be a series of public interviews including an audience with distinguished New York Times columnist, winner of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize and author of three New York Times bestsellers, Maureen Dowd, Former Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland Seamus Mallon, Archbishop Eamon Martin, former Congressman and classmate of Bill and Hillary Clinton Bruce Morrison, Stefanie Preissner, Dick Spring, Mick Wallace, Joan Burton, Michael McDowell and more Politicians, News correspondents, authors and leading global academics and many more will all partake in the 2019 Kennedy Summer School.

Former Congressman famous for the ‘Morrison’ Visa set for 2019 Kennedy Summer School

Bruce Morrisson the former Congressman famous for the ‘Morrison’ Visa is set to be interviewed by Caitríona Perry for the ‘Kennedy Summer School Interview’ on Friday, September 6th in New Ross, County Wexford. Bruce Morrison is a graduate of MIT and Yale Law School, where his classmates included Bill and Hillary Clinton and President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton. A public interest lawyer and Democrat, he was elected to the United States Congress from Connecticut in 1982.

Bruce Morrison has a close connection with Ireland, he was raised in Northport, Long Island by Dorothea and George Morrison, adopted parents of  German and Scots-Irish heritage. Morrison gained notoriety in the Irish-American community not only for his role in making Northern Ireland a priority in Washington but for his work on immigration reform. During his last term in Congress, Morrison served as chairman of the House Immigration Subcommittee. That year, he authored one of the most comprehensive revisions to the immigration law of the 20th century, and with the help of his allies, including Senator Ted Kennedy, saw it through to legislation.

The resulting legislation, the Immigration Reform Act of 1990 became known as the Morrison Visa and enabled tens of thousands of Irish men and women to emigrate to the US and chase their American dreams. Subsequent to his tenure in Congress, Bruce Morrison was active in the Northern Ireland peace process and was instrumental in helping Gerry Adams to obtain a visa to travel to the US. He has remained an outspoken voice on important issues for Ireland and Irish Americans in his career as an immigration lawyer and lobbyist and features frequently in Irish and American media. In 1992, he supported his old law school classmate in his run for President, serving as co-chairman of Irish Americans for Clinton-Gore, a role he would reprise for the 1996 election.

Morrison continued to provide advice and information to President Clinton throughout his two terms in office. Traveling frequently to Ireland and the North, the former congressman became one of the Americans for a New Irish Agenda; in September 1993, the group made an unprecedented eight-day visit to Northern Ireland, to deepen the understanding of all  sides and to communicate the possibility that a cessation of violence would be met with U.S. support.

The annual Kennedy Summer School is set to host a number of expert discussions and is billed as ‘A Festival of Irish and American, History, Politics and Culture’. There will be over 50 guest speakers participating over three days on a wide range of different subjects and organisers say that Brexit and Ireland’s relationship with the U.S. will feature prominently.

There will be a series of public interviews including an audience with An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, distinguished New York Times columnist, winner of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize and author of three New York Times bestsellers, Maureen Dowd, Former Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland Seamus Mallon, Archbishop Eamon Martin, former Congressman and classmate of Bill and Hillary Clinton Bruce Morrison, Micheál Martin TD, Stefanie Preissner, Dick Spring, Mick Wallace, Joan Burton, Michael McDowell and more Politicians, News correspondents, authors and leading global academics and many more will all partake in the 2019 Kennedy Summer School.

Kennedy Summer School announce programme updates including a public interview with An Taoiseach

The team behind the 2019 Kennedy Summer School have announced a number of updates to the planned programme of events which is set to take place in New Ross this September 5th to 7th.

An Taoiseach Mr Leo Varadkar will take to the stage at St Michael’s Theatre at 7.15 pm on Friday 6th September. The Taoiseach will make a short address and also participate in a public interview. In the past, Bertie Ahern and Brian Cowen have both addressed the Kennedy Summer School, but this is the first time that a serving Taoiseach will participate in the Summer School.

As a result of the addition of the Taoiseach to the programme, the panel discussion on the Supreme Courts of Ireland and the United States, originally scheduled for 7.15pm on Friday 6th September, will now take place at 8.30pm and Caitriona Perry’s interview with former Congressman Bruce Morrison will commence at 9.30pm.

It is with regret that the Kennedy Summer School announce that Marty Morrissey is no longer in a position to attend the Kennedy Summer School Afternoon Tea Party which takes place at 2.30pm, Thursday 5th September, however, the team are delighted to confirm that RTE’s Michael Lyster will join this event.

Michael Lyster is one of Ireland’s best-known radio and television broadcasters and he presented The Sunday Game Live from 1984 to 2018. Michael will be joined by Senator Frances Black, who prior to her career in politics had an incredibly successful career in music.

The Summer School Committee is very excited about the musical dimension to the 2019 programme. As an hour-long evening concert with the multi-platinum singer and songwriter, Brian Kennedy takes place on the opening night of Thursday 5th September at St Michael’s Theatre.

Brian’s career has spanned three decades with two multi-platinum selling albums and awards for best male artist and best album. Brian has toured with the legendary Van Morrison and has shared the global stage with some of the all-time greats including Stevie Wonder, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Ray Charles amongst much more and has toured the world performing his chart-topping songs.

Speaking of the 2019 programme Dr Brian Murphy (Technological University Dublin) one of the Kennedy Summer School organisers says, “The Summer School will take place at a time of intense political discussion regarding Brexit. Brexit will be a major feature of the panel discussion, ‘Our Two Islands, Our Complex Relationship’, taking place on Saturday 7th September in St. Michael’s Theatre. Jeffrey Donaldson MP, the Chief Whip of the Democratic Unionist Party, and Senator Michael McDowell, former Tanaiste and Minister for Justice, have already confirmed their participation in this discussion. We are pleased now to announce that Colum Eastwood, SDLP, and Sorcha Eastwood, the Alliance Party, (no relation) will also join this panel.

Colum Eastwood has been party leader of the SDLP since 2015 and was first elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly in 2011 in the constituency of Foyle.

Sorcha Eastwood is a recently elected Alliance Party Councillor for Castlereagh South and the Brexit Adviser to the Alliance Party. She has represented the Alliance Party at key meetings Dublin, London and Brussels on the evolving Brexit situation.

Seamus Mallon to officially open 2019 Kennedy Summer School

The former Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland Seamus Mallon will officially open the 6th annual Kennedy Summer School in New Ross County Wexford on the evening of Thursday, September 5th.

During the 1960s, Seamus Mallon was introduced to politics through the Civil Rights movement. He became Deputy Leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) in 1979. In a distinguished political career, he served as Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland from 1998 to 2001. At the Summer School, he will participate in a public interview with Eileen Dunne discussing his fascinating career and his recently published memoir, “A Shared Home Place” and his perspective on current developments, or lack of them, in Northern Ireland.

He was elected to the Power-Sharing Assembly in 1973. Mallon served briefly in Seanad Éireann, having been appointed by the then Taoiseach, Charles Haughey, in 1982. He was elected in the same year to the Northern Ireland Assembly. In 1986, he was elected in a by-election to Westminster. As a central figure in the peace process, his viewpoint was shaped by growing up as a Catholic in a predominantly Protestant village. Mallon gained a reputation for speaking out against violence from all sides. He was a key architect of the Good Friday Agreement.

The annual Kennedy Summer School is set to host a number of expert discussions and is billed as ‘A Festival of Irish and American, History, Politics and Culture’. There will be over 50 guest speakers participating over three days on a wide range of different subjects and organisers say that Brexit and Ireland’s relationship with the U.S. will feature prominently.

There will be a series of public interviews including an audience with distinguished New York Times columnist, winner of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize and author of three New York Times bestsellers, Maureen Dowd, Former Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland Seamus Mallon, Archbishop Eamon Martin, former Congressman and classmate of Bill and Hillary Clinton Bruce Morrison, Micheál Martin TD, Stefanie Preissner, Dick Spring, Mick Wallace, Joan Burton, Michael McDowell and more Politicians, News correspondents, authors and leading global academics and many more will all partake in the 2019 Kennedy Summer School.

Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins set to return to her Irish roots for Kennedy Summer School 2019

Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins will be returning to her Irish roots this September as she takes to the stage at the annual Kennedy Summer School on Saturday, September 7th.

Rachael will take to the stage and discuss her extensive career and current position as Suffolk County’s District Attorney in a public interview with Dr Robert M. Mauro of Boston College. She will offer her perspective on law and politics in today’s USA and her determination as the DA of Suffolk County to change and improve the criminal justice system; the interview will be followed by a panel discussion on US Politics and Election 2020, the panel includes Rachael Rollins, Cal Thomas, Sarah Elliott, Niall O’Dowd, Michael Lonergan and will be chaired by Larry Donnelly.

In November 2018 Rachael Rollins was elected Suffolk County’s District Attorney on a promise to end cash bail, send drug users to treatment instead of jail, and stop prosecuting 15 low-level charges.

Rachael was born into a large, multi-cultural family, with Cork heritage on her father’s side. Her parents met shortly after the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in Loving v. Virginia, which invalidated laws prohibiting interracial marriage. At the time, her father had just returned from Vietnam and was living with his family on Ethel Street in Roslindale. Her mother was a nursing student at Boston University. They married and settled on Harlem Street in Dorchester in 1969.

She graduated from high school in 1989 and was selected onto an Elite New England School Girls Lacrosse Team and won a National Championship and she received a lacrosse scholarship to attend the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Immediately after graduating in 1994, she went to Northeastern University School of Law. While there, she served as the first legal intern in the history of the National Basketball Players Association and interned with United States District Court Judge Robert E. Keeton. After graduating in 1997, she clerked for one year on the Massachusetts Appeals Court and then went to Georgetown University Law Center where she obtained a Masters in Law.

She was accepted into and attended a 6-month intense Change Management and Leadership program at Harvard Business School. After she graduated from the program at HBS she was ready to take on the world. Tragically, she was then diagnosed with breast cancer. For the next 18+ months, she underwent treatment and multiple surgeries, which led to her becoming completely healthy and cancer free, but that diagnosis deeply impacted her and her family’s life.

The annual Kennedy Summer School is set to host a number of expert discussions and is billed as ‘A Festival of Irish and American, History, Politics and Culture’. There will be over 50 guest speakers participating over three days on a wide range of different subjects and organisers say that Brexit and Ireland’s relationship with the U.S. will feature prominently.

There will be a series of public interviews including an audience with distinguished New York Times columnist, winner of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize and author of three New York Times bestsellers, Maureen Dowd, Former Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland Seamus Mallon, Archbishop Eamon Martin, former Congressman and classmate of Bill and Hillary Clinton Bruce Morrison, Micheál Martin TD, Stefanie Preissner, Dick Spring, Mick Wallace, Joan Burton, Michael McDowell and more Politicians, News correspondents, authors and leading global academics and many more will all partake in the 2019 Kennedy Summer School.

Kennedy Summer School to host 1963 style Kennedy Tea Party Marty Morrissey and Frances Black set to host Kennedy Summer School Tea Party

The most famous Irish tea party is set to be re-enacted at the JFK Arboretum in county Wexford during the annual Kennedy Summer School on the afternoon of Thursday, September 5th, 2019.

The Kennedy Summer School will celebrate the iconic Presidential visit of John F Kennedy to New Ross and Dunganstown with a special event of talks, entertainment and afternoon tea. The event will be hosted by Sean Connick, Chief Executive of the JFK Trust New Ross and will feature guest personalities Marty Morrissey and Senator Frances Black to talk about their very different career paths and their rise to national celebrity in very different fields.

As well as getting his take on the hurling season then drawing to a close, Marty will reflect on his broadcasting career and his rise as a truly unique national treasure and a magnet for all that is optimistic and party-loving in Irish sport and our society generally. Sean will also chat with Frances Black about her successful music career including the incredibly successful “Women’s Heart” phenomenon. Discussing how her own struggles gave rise to her founding the Rise Foundation and how now she is utilising her new role as an Independent member of Seanad Éireann to draw attention to and achieve real change in the issues which matter to her.

The afternoon promises to be an interesting, entertaining, lively opportunity for all involved to meet, mingle and chat in that most typical of Irish ways – over a cup of tea. Guests to the event will be treated to an array of pastries and cakes and of course a traditional fruit cake, which is what President John F. Kennedy along with his sisters Eunice Shriver and Jean Kennedy-Smith were served by his cousin Mary Ryan during his visit in 1963, these delicious treats will be made by the expert members of the Wexford Federation Irish Country Women’s Association.

During his visit, the President cuts a slice of the cake, which he ends up giving to Mary Ryan, his second cousin once-removed. He thanks her and her friends for doing all of the cooking and offers a toast, “a cup of tea to all the Kennedys who went and all the Kennedys who stayed”.

The annual Kennedy Summer School is set to host a number of expert discussions and is billed as ‘A Festival of Irish and American, History, Politics and Culture’. There will be over 50 guest speakers participating over three days on a wide range of different subjects and organisers say that Brexit and Ireland’s relationship with the U.S. will feature prominently. There will be a series of public interviews including an audience with distinguished New York Times columnist, winner of the 1999 Pulitzer
Prize and author of three New York Times bestsellers, Maureen Dowd, Former Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland Seamus Mallon, Archbishop Eamon Martin, former Congressman and classmate of Bill and Hillary Clinton Bruce Morrison, Micheál Martin TD, Stefanie Preissner, Dick Spring, Mick Wallace, Joan Burton, Michael McDowell and more Politicians, News correspondents, authors and leading global academics and many more will all partake in the 2019 Kennedy Summer School.

Brian Kennedy concert announced for the opening evening of The Kennedy Summer School 2019

July 17, 2019

The 2019 Kennedy Summer School will open on Thursday, September 5th 2019 and legendary singer and songwriter Brian Kennedy will host the opening evening concert. The multi-platinum selling singer and songwriter Brian Kennedy will host a unique hour-long concert at St. Michael’s Theatre in New Ross from 9 to 10 pm. The chart-topping Belfast born singer with the voice of an angel is known for his ballads and has also represented Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest. His career has spanned three decades with two multi-platinum selling albums and awards for best male artist and best album.

Brian has toured with the legendary Van Morrison and has shared the global stage with some of the all-time greats including Stevie Wonder, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Ray Charles amongst much more and has toured the world performing his chart-topping songs. 2017 has been a very busy year for Brian. After a sell-out run at the world-renowned Edinburgh Fringe Festival, he recently released the triple ‘Live at Vicar Street, Dublin’ double CD & bonus DVD before heading all the way to China for a 10 date tour with Secret Garden where they had a huge hit with Brian singing ‘You Raise Me Up’.

Earlier in the evening historian and distinguished former public servant Felix M. Larkin will donate his personal Kennedy collection to the Kennedy Archive at New Ross Library following this event Former Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland Seamus Mallon will officially open the 6th annual Kennedy Summer School on the evening of Thursday, September 5th at 7.30pm and he will participate in a public interview with Eileen Dunne discussing his fascinating career and his recently published memoir, “A Shared Home Place” and his perspective on current developments, or lack of them, in Northern Ireland.

This event will be followed by a keynote address as the Edward M Kennedy Lecture will be delivered by Archbishop Eamon Martin on ‘What Role Is There For Faith In Our Politics’ with replies to the lecture from Senator Ivana Bacik, Professor of Law in Trinity College and Michael Kelly, Editor of The Irish Catholic and an award-winning writer and broadcaster specialising in religious and social affairs and Thomas H. Groome, who is a senior Professor of Theology and Religious Education at Boston College. This keynote address will be followed by a concert with Brian Kennedy. Tickets to the entire evening of events are now on sale at €15 per person on kennedysummerschool.ie

The annual Kennedy Summer School is set to host a number of expert discussions and is billed as ‘A Festival of Irish and American, History, Politics and Culture’. There will be over 50 guest speakers participating over three days on a wide range of different subjects and organisers say that Brexit and Ireland’s relationship with the U.S. will feature prominently.

There will be a series of public interviews including an audience with distinguished New York Times columnist, winner of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize and author of three New York Times bestsellers, Maureen Dowd, Former Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland Seamus Mallon, Archbishop Eamon Martin, former Congressman and classmate of Bill and Hillary Clinton Bruce Morrison, Micheál Martin TD, Stefanie Preissner, Dick Spring, Mick Wallace, Joan Burton, Michael McDowell and more Politicians, News correspondents, authors and leading global academics and many more will all partake in the 2019 Kennedy Summer School.