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Ruth Dudley Edwards

Last of JFK's siblings leaves a contentious legacy behind in Ireland after her death at 92

Ruth Dudley Edwards


Jean Kennedy Smith was Irish republicanism's ambassador to the US, writes Ruth Dudley Edwards

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Jean Kennedy Smith with former Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams

Jean Kennedy Smith with former Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams

Jean Kennedy Smith with former Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams

Regretting the death of Jean Kennedy Smith, US Ambassador to Ireland from 1993 for five years, who died last Wednesday in Manhattan aged 92, President Michael D Higgins said she would "be forever remembered as the diplomat who had a sense of history and of what had influenced the Irish in the United States".

The problem was that her sense of Irish history owed a great deal to her Brit-hating brother Ted and her great friend Tim Pat Coogan.

And according to Mr Coogan, Father Alec Reid, the Redemptorist priest from Clonard Monastery, became a key confidant.