Thursday 18 January 2018

Kennedys were leaders of the most nauseating and sentimental of any ethnic minority in US

A Kennedy is dead: reach for the RTE cliché-bag, darling, revealing once again the national addiction for a tale of oppression.

So the usual journalistic, self-pitying fatuities have been freely pitch-forked over our airwaves, starting with the founding father of the Kennedys, Patrick -- "one of our own" (yawn, yawn) -- "fleeing poverty and famine on a coffin-ship". Only he didn't. Patrick's father was a prosperous grain farmer with 80 acres near New Ross, where there was no blight, and Patrick emigrated on a normal transatlantic vessel.

"Patrick Kennedy had to face the racial bigotry of the Brahmin class in Boston". Well, I've yet to hear of an indigenous population which welcomes being demographically overwhelmed by immigrants. Either way, by 1886, the Irish outnumbered the natives in Boston, and Patrick's son PJ was a state senator. In other words, the Irish had made it. PJ married Mary Hickey, one of whose brothers was a Harvard-educated doctor, and another was to be mayor of Boston. Oh, this is really downtrodden. In 1888, the year of Joe Kennedy's birth, PJ actually seconded the nomination of future US-president Grover Cleveland as Democratic candidate. So, fully 120 years ago, the Kennedys were big-time players. They may have been despised by the Boston Brahmins, rather as Fianna Fail was disdained by old Kingstown; but only an obsessive and very Hibernian self-pity would take such a localised and anachronistic hostility seriously in a continent the size of the US.

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