This Thursday, the penultimate event of the JFK 50 commemorations in New Ross kick off. From September 12th through the 14th, the Kennedy Summer School, organized in association with the JFK Trust and supported by Fáilte Ireland and Wexford Local Development Limited, aims to bring a collegial tenor to the year’s events.
The theme for the Summer School is the changed relationship between Ireland and the United States since John F. Kennedy’s 1963 visit, and conversation is the medium. Even a brief glance at the program reveals that there are nearly as many social events as academic ones, giving participants time to engage in lively extracurricular debate.
In fact, the official opening of the Summer School is a tea party at the Kennedy Homestead outside of New Ross city with special guests Ted Kennedy, Jr. and Rory Kennedy. Following that is the Irish premier of Rory Kennedy’s new documentary (with four Emmy nominations) Ethel: The personal untold story of Ethel Kennedy with a panel discussion to follow.
The next two days are filled with scholarly talks on subjects ranging from JFK’s space and science legacy to to a documentary on the Kennedys’ “Irish Mafia,” and from the responsibility of America to Ireland now to the intriguingly polemically-titled talk, “Ireland is deluding itself in its love affair with America”. Invited guests and speakers include TDs, popular news and radio personalities, non-profit directors, corporate consultants, and university professors, so the level of knowledge and awareness perambulating through New Ross will be pretty inspiring—not a bad way to honor the legacy of one of Ireland’s favorite descendants.
While the official closing is a reflective evening in St Michael’s Theater, just before is perhaps the most trans-culturally symbolic event of the three-day school: an American BBQ.
Tickets are available through the St. Michael’s Theater box office both for the entire summer school (click here for the complete package) or you may purchase tickets to any of the individual events by clicking here. The complete program is available here and for more information on the speakers, the events, and about the JFK 50 celebrations, visit http://www.kennedysummerschool.ie/, or http://www.jfk50ireland.com/.