Thursday 18 October 2018

Burns has links to the greatest of Irish American dynasties

Joseph P. Kennedy greeting the press at the airport as he returns from a trip to the US in 1940 (Photo by J. A. Hampton/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
Joseph P. Kennedy greeting the press at the airport as he returns from a trip to the US in 1940 (Photo by J. A. Hampton/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
Luke Byrne

Luke Byrne

The man who will represent Republican Donald Trump in Ireland is the son of an adviser to Joe Kennedy - father of JFK and the Democratic Party's greatest Irish American dynasty.

Brian P Burns was the fifth of seven children born to John J Burns and his wife, Alice.

John was a close confidant of Joe Kennedy, a man influential in his own right serving as the first Irish American ambassador to Britain.

Mr Burns traces his roots back to Co Kerry. Born in Massachusetts, he is a graduate of The College of the Holy Cross and Harvard Law School.

He was inducted into the Irish America Hall of Fame in 2013, the same year as current US Vice President Joe Biden.

Mr Burns was the leading fundraiser behind an effort to restore the world famous Marsh's Library, beside St Patrick's Cathedral, in Dublin.

He also founded an American Law Library at University College Cork in honour of his late father.

Mr Burns has a direct connection to one of his recent predecessors, Obama-appointed Dan Rooney.

In the mid-1980s he was behind a plan to merge the American Ireland Foundation with the new Ireland Fund, formed by Mr Rooney.

This would lead to the two foundations becoming the American Ireland Fund in 1986.

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News