Extended Kennedy family among mourners at funeral of Saoirse Kennedy Hill

Daughter of Courtney Kennedy Hill and Paul Hill laid to rest in Centreville, Massachusetts

Members of the Kennedy family gathered at Centreville in Massachusetts on Monday for the funeral of Saoirse Kennedy Hill, who died of a suspected overdose last Thursday.

The 22-year-old student, the only child of Courtney Kennedy Hill and Paul Hill of the Guildford Four, was laid to rest at a private burial after the service.

Ms Kennedy Hill’s father Paul Hill was among the mourners. He married Courtney Kennedy Hill, the fifth child of former US attorney general Robert Kennedy, shortly after his release from prison in 1993, though they later separated.

Also in attendance were members of the wider Kennedy family including current congressman Joe Kennedy III, who represents the state of Massachusetts in the US Congress. The deceased’s grandmother, Ethel Kennedy, the wife of Robert Kennedy who was assassinated in 1968, also attended.


Among the hymns sung at the Mass included a version of the Irish ballad When Irish Eyes Are Smiling adapted with the words When Saoirse’s Eyes are Smiling.

Ms Kennedy Hill was found unresponsive last Thursday afternoon at the Kennedy family compound on Cape Cod last Thursday afternoon and was later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

Her death is still under investigation as the results of a toxicology report are awaited.

The 22 year-old had previously written about her experience with depression.

Her uncle, Robert F Kennedy junior, was among those who paid tribute to her in recent days, describing her as like a daughter to him. “Saoirse was fierce, both in her love for her family and yearning for justice… the gaping hole that she leaves in our family is a wound too large to ever heal.”

The death of Saoirse Kennedy Hill is the latest tragedy to befall the Kennedy dynasty. Robert Kennedy was assassinated in 1968, five years after the murder of his brother, John F Kennedy. The late president’s son John was later killed in a plane crash in 1999 along with his wife and sister-in-law.

Suzanne Lynch

Suzanne Lynch

Suzanne Lynch, a former Irish Times journalist, was Washington correspondent and, before that, Europe correspondent