Mandatory family viewing

Holiday movies with a difference on Kennedy’s return to Hyannis Port after his trip of a lifetime

President Kennedy, accompanied by the cameraman who would produce his favourite home movie, waves as he prepares to leave Shannon

President Kennedy, accompanied by the cameraman who would produce his favourite home movie, waves as he prepares to leave Shannon

Wed, Jun 19, 2013, 01:00

I believe my brother’s trip to Ireland was the most exciting event of his life. He planned for it for weeks. He wanted to know each day prior “how things were going”, what was he going to do that day, etc, etc, and when he arrived, he was overcome by the extraordinary welcome he received from the Irish people.

When we came back home, we went to Hyannis Port. My parents were away, so he was staying in my mother and father’s house – the “big house” as it was called at the time – and other members of the family had small houses near by.

Since the person who stayed at the big house made the selection of which films would be shown, it was up to my brother that weekend to make the selection. The choice was his “trip to Ireland”.

And then the next night, he thought we should all see it again – in case we missed something. Sunday night of the weekend, he came out on the porch and announced that we would see the film yet again because we all enjoyed it so much and might not be able to see it again for a while. How he loved that film and how he loved Ireland!

He loved the Irish people, and he was thrilled by their warm welcome. I never saw him so happy.


Jean Kennedy Smith is a former US ambassador to Ireland

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