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.