Monday 11 December 2017

Courtney and Paul Hill go their own way

After more than 12 years of marriage, Paul Hill and and Courtney Kennedy have gone their separate ways. The 1993 union of the Belfastman, wrongly imprisoned for 15 years for the Guildford and Woolwich pub bombings, and the daughter of Robert Kennedy, who was assassinated in 1968, raised more than a few establishment eyebrows.

The couple have a daughter, Saoirse, now eight, and for the past four years had settled in Lahinch in Co Clare.

But 49-year old Courtney has now returned for keeps to her family in America, taking her daughter with her, and Paul has moved a short distance to the village of Doolin.

The pair rarely spoke to the media but in a BBC interview in 2000, the couple discussed their marriage. "A lot of people think it's very unnatural. Here I am from West Belfast and I am married to Robert Kennedy's daughter," said Paul. "I don't feel any of that at all. I really don't. Partly because I am not phased by people, and they are just a normal family, but people tend to overlook that aspect of it because of tragedy."

Courtney agreed. "It is an odd match truthfully, but one that came together, so it is a little bit different and it took us a little bit of time getting used to each other's kinds of lives and stuff. It was interesting to say the least," she said.

"I think there was some empathy and understanding that we had with each other that other people would not have. Our histories had some kind of similarities in that we both had sufferance in loss."

The pair married in June 1993 in a civil ceremony on a yacht in the Aegean, officiated by the yacht's owner, Donald Klosterman, who also owns the Los Angeles Rams football team.

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