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Obituary: Jean Kennedy Smith

The second youngest Kennedy, Jean Kennedy Smith was US ambassador to Ireland at a crucial time in history, recalls Donal Lynch

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JEAN KENNEDY SMITH: She had to wait to make her mark on the world and on Ireland

JEAN KENNEDY SMITH: She had to wait to make her mark on the world and on Ireland

JEAN KENNEDY SMITH: She had to wait to make her mark on the world and on Ireland

In the gardens of the family mansion at her Hamptons estate, Jean Kennedy Smith, who has died aged 92, grew crocuses and snowdrops. They were a reminder, perhaps, that some flowers bloom in winter.

In a group of siblings that produced a US president - JFK - and two senators, Robert F Kennedy and Edward M Kennedy, it was perhaps inevitable that Jean would for much of her life be resigned to the role of campaigner, supporter and charity dame.

Her intelligence and great drive were eclipsed by her more illustrious family member and she led, The New York Times observed, "a quiet life of privilege and philanthropy, with palatial homes, summers at the shore and a busy calendar of society functions". But like the hardy snowdrop, Jean came into her own just as her family was experiencing its own winter.