2013 Kennedy Summer School Schedule Announced

NEWS RELEASE New Ross, 21st August: The leading Irish American festival of history, culture and politics, The Kennedy Summer School, today announced the schedule of events taking place in New Ross, Co. Wexford from September 12th– 14th 2013. The festival marks one of the final celebrations of the 50th anniversary of John F Kennedy’s iconic visit to New Ross.

Run in association with the JFK Trust in New Ross, the three day event will highlight the strength of political, historical and cultural links between Ireland and America through a series of presentations and discussions. The festival will recap on what has been a phenomenal year of celebration for the town and its residents.

Special guests at this years Kennedy Summer School are Ted Kennedy Jnr, son of the late Senator Edward Kennedy and film producer Rory Kennedy, daughter of the late Bobby Kennedy.

Prominent Irish and American participants confirmed for the Kennedy Summer School include: space commentator Leo Enright; historian Richard Aldous; scholar Brian Murphy; TV producer John O’Regan; film producer David Harvey; journalist and business women Margaret E. Ward; former trade unionist Peter Cassells; businessman Barry O’Leary; Minister Richard Bruton; politician Micheál Martin TD; Senator Katherine Zappone; Professor Dr. Jane Suiter; author and former politician Mary O’Rourke; broadcaster and former politician Nora Owen; broadcasters George Hook, Michael Graham and Alan Corcoran; curator Patrick Grennan; research officer Michael Taft; political commentator Larry Donnelly; professional genealogist R. Andrew Pierce.

The Summer School attracts guests and members of the public from across Ireland and the US, with an interest in Irish American links. One very notable event is the “The Edward M Kennedy Lecture”. This lecture, in association with the Edward M Kennedy Institute for Conflict Intervention NUI Maynooth, will be held in St Michaels Theatre on Friday, 13th September with a special address by Ted Kennedy Jnr.

Guests interested in politics will not want to miss the discussion on “Reforming Irish Politics”, which will debate on Local Government and Seanad Éireann by Minister Richard Bruton TD, Micheál Martin TD, Senator Katherine Zappone and Dr Jane Suiter.

One of the highlights of the weekend is Irish premier screening of the five times Emmy nominated documentary film called ETHEL, which highlights the remarkable life of Ethel Kennedy. Directed by her Emmy Award-winning daughter Rory Kennedy, the film is a personal portrait of Ethel’s political awakening, the life she shared with Bobby Kennedy, and the years following his death when she raised their 11 children on her own.

Intimate, funny, and deeply moving, ETHEL offers a rare look inside a political dynasty strengthened by family bonds, a compassion for others, and a wisdom forged from both hardship and triumph. Guests attending the screening will be treated to a Hennessy Fine de Cognac reception on arrival and the screening will be followed by an interview with Rory Kennedy and the film writer, Mark Bailey.

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 new Visitor Centre at the Kennedy Homestead Dunganstown was opened by Caroline Kennedy, daughter of JFK, in June this year as part of the JFK 50th anniversary celebrations.

Tickets can be bought here.


Supported by American Airlines, Coca Cola, Fáilte Ireland, Tourism Ireland, Brandon House Hotel, Monart, Edward M Kennedy Institute for Conflict Intervention at NUI Maynooth; and Circle Films, The Kennedy Summer School has a mixture of events to suit all interests from space and science to politics, history and even the Irish Mafia in the US. Each event is a showcase of the Irish American experience.


For further information please contact: Limelight Communications on (01) 668 0600



The JFK 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.

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