REPRINT OF Fr. McManus 2018 Press Release—Fr.McManus outside ancestral home of Roseanna Cox-Fitzgerald, Toneymore West, Co. Fermanagh.

Posted By: January 08, 2023



CAPITOL HILL. Sunday, August 19, 2018— It’s well known that Fr. Sean McManus, President of the Capitol Hill-based Irish National Caucus, is very proud of his native County Fermanagh— one of the Six Counties of Northern Ireland, still under England’s control.

Well, Fr. Mc Manus is even more proud of Fermanagh since it has been established that the great-grandmother of President Kennedy Roseanna Cox-Fitzgerald (c.1835-1879) was born in Fermanagh—and in the next parish to Fr. McManus’ own parish of Kinawley. Indeed, Roseanna’s father was from the parish of Kinawley. Roseanna apparently emigrated to America in her late teens or early twenties.

Fr. Mc Manus explains:’’ The historic parish of Kinawley has essentially been in existence since the Sixth Century. It is now divided by the damn Border, its other part being in County Cavan. The neighboring parish to Kinawley is the parish of Knockninney, and it is in that parish that Roseanna Cox was born.”

Fr. Mc Manus continued: ‘On Saturday, August 4, I celebrated the 50th Anniversary of my Ordination in St. Naile’s Church, Kinawley (actual date of my Ordination was September 1,1968). The Curate of Knockninney, Fr. Ultan Mc Goohan, was one of the six priests who concelebrated Mass with me, and a few days later he took me ‘on pilgrimage’ to the ancestral home of Roseanna.

Fr. McGoogan, who has a degree in history, has recently done groundbreaking work in bringing to light this neglected lineage of the Kennedy family. We have heard a lot about ‘The Boys of Wexford,’ and, now, it’s due time to hear about ‘The Girl of Fermanagh.’ I am sure the younger generations of the Kennedys will want to pay due homage to the neglected distaff side (female side) of the family. Such neglect, of course, was common in the older days. But now, I am hoping the younger Kennedys will see it as a matter of historical justice, as well as due and equal respect to Roseanna Cox-Fitzgerald, to right the family record of this extraordinary Irish-American family.”



Fr.McGoohan in his key article,”The Fermanagh roots of John F. Kennedy” (February 28, 2018), explains how the Fermanagh connection had been lost for so long:”In summary, I am proposing that there has been a mistake. Rosanna Cox was not a Cavan woman, but a Fermanagh woman. We know her father was Philip Cox and there is a baptism registered to Philip Cox and Mary McGauran/McGovern in Kinawley parish. We know she gave her home address as Tonymore, Tomregan, Co. Cavan. Tonymore is in the civil parish of Tomregan, the home address given at the Kennedy Center in the United States and in Dunganstown, as the birthplace of Rosanna. As we now know,Tomregan was a civil parish, but Tonymore is in the Catholic ecclesiastical parish of Knockninny. At the time Tomregan was probably still being used as a postal address by the residents of Tonymore. We can claim her as a Fermanagh woman, with Kinawley and Knockninny roots and to be even more parochial, we might call her a Teemore woman! ”