Northern Ireland envoy role for Joe Kennedy III means that Fermanagh should get some credit

Posted By: January 04, 2023




Letter: Northern Ireland envoy role for Joe Kennedy III means 

That Fermanagh should get some credit

A letter from Father Sean McManus of the Irish National Caucus:

News Letter. Belfast. Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Now that Joe Kennedy III —a future American president— has been confirmed by the US Senate as the Northern Ireland Envoy, Fermanagh should get some of the credit long usurped by County Wexford.

Because the distaff side of Joe III’s family is rooted in Fermanagh, just as surely as the spear side (male side) is rooted in Wexford.

The grandmother of Rose Kennedy (1890 -1995)—mother of President Kennedy and the beloved Bobby Kennedy (Joe III’s grandfather)—Rosanna Cox was born in the parish of Knockninny circa 1835. (But her father was from the parish of Kinawley, oops, that just slipped in).

Rosanna Cox emigrated to Boston and in 1857 she married Thomas Fitzgerald. One of their 12 children, John F. Fitzgerald — best known as Honey Fitz—became a congressman and later the Mayor of Boston. He and his wife had a daughter named Rose, who would marry Joseph P. Kennedy—and thus would be born JFK, Bobby, Teddy, Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith, etc, etc.

So — as I wrote to Joe III a few years ago — a little less about the Boys of Wexford, and much more about the girl from Fermanagh.

And, by the way, speaking of credit, I must credit Fr Ultan McGooghan, formerly Parish Priest of Knockninny, and now in County Cavan for all the original research into the truly remarkable story of Roseanna Cox (whose father was a Kinawley man, oops, it happened again).

Fr Sean McManus, President, Irish National Caucus, Washington DC