New Ross, September 2014 Government Ministers, leading GAA figures, celebrity chef Kevin Dundon and top academics from Ireland and the United States are among the speakers participating at the Kennedy Summer School in New Ross, Wexford next Thursday 11th to Saturday 13th September. The theme of this years event is “History Repeats Itself”. There will also be special performances by comedian Barry Murphy and singer and musician Sharon Shannon.
The Kennedy Summer School and Festival is run in association with the John F. Kennedy Trust New Ross and this year includes a range of new events. “We have deliberately expanded the event to make it even more attractive to people from the area. All are welcome and with tickets for each event in St Michael’s only €5 or an all day ticket on Friday and Saturday costing €10, we have also priced this year’s summer school to make it more accessible” said Noel Whelan, Chairman of the JFK Trust.
The festivities begin this year with the Dunganstown Festival of Tea and Cakes at the Kennedy Homestead on the afternoon of Thursday 11th September which will feature demonstrations and a talk from Kevin Dundon.
On Thursday night the proceedings move to St Michael’s Theatre where the celebrated US author Nicole Kelby Smith will give an opening night presentation on Jackie Kennedy. Nicole Kelby Smith’s books include “The Pink Suit” based on the story of the suit worn by Jackie Kennedy on the day of JFK’s assassination.
St Michael’s Theatre is also the location for debates and discussion all day Friday and Saturday including an audio visual presentation by Leo Enright on Space Exploration, the leading US academic Christine Kinealy on Poverty and Emigration in Irish history and one by Sunday Independent columnist Eoghan Harris on Irish political campaigns.
The keynote event on Friday will be talks on Peace and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland by the former police ombudsman Baroness Nuala O’Loan, and by new Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan TD. This will be held in association with The Centre for Conflict Intervention, Maynooth University.
On Friday evening there will be a special session discussing the GAA and Emigration which will be chaired by legendary GAA commentator Micheál O Muirtheartaigh and addressed by Pádraic Duffy, Director General of the GAA and former Kerry GAA star come politician Jimmy Deenihan now Minister for Diaspora Affairs and local GAA figure Tony Dempsey.
On Saturday 13th September the key note event will be a special session on current tensions between the United States and Russia on Ukraine and the speakers will include Nina L Khrushcheva, a great granddaughter of Nikita Khrushchev who was president of Russia when John F. Kennedy was US President.
Former Fine Gael Minister and now independent TD Lucinda Creighton will be part of a political panel on Saturday lunchtime amid speculation that she is about to announce a new political party.
The Kennedy Summer School and Festival concludes on Saturday night with a special Fleadh Cheoil event on board and around the Dunbrody Famine Ship Experience ending with a free public concert by Sharon Shannon by the Emigrant Flame at 8pm.
The organisers say interest in all events is strong and people are advised to book tickets online www.kennedysummerschool.ie or through St Michael’s Theatre, New Ross in advance.