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.