Members of the Kennedy family gathered this week for the funeral of RFK’s granddaughter, Saoirse, 22, who died last week after a suspected drug overdose
Family and friends have gathered for a funeral Mass on Monday at Our Lady of Victory Church in Centerville, not far from the Kennedy compound in Hyannis Port, this was followed by a private burial service. They gathered at the Cape Cod church in order to pay their final respects to Saoirse Kennedy Hill, the 22-year-old granddaughter of the late Robert F. Kennedy.
The young girl was the daughter of Robert and Ethen Kennedy’s fifth child, Courtney, with Paul Michael Hill, and was scheduled to start her senior year at Boston College this fall, but was found unresponsive on Thursday last week at the compound where her grandmother, Ethel, lives in Cape Cod.
She is believed to have gone into cardiac arrest and was pronounced dead at Cape Cod Hospital, and while the cause of death remains under investigation it is suspected to have been due to a drug overdose. The autopsy revealed no signs of trauma and investigators are awaiting toxicology reports.
At the Our Lady of Victory Church, her mother Courtney Kennedy was seen embracing mourners while the father of the girl, Paul Hill, was seen in tears as he passed his daughter’s coffin. Younger family friends said about Saoirse that she had loved her friends, Ireland, and her “quest for freedom”, remembering her as a strong-minded Irish woman with a “big, beautiful smile”.
Saoirse’s death is just the latest in a series of historical deaths in the Kennedy family. Back in 1963, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on a visit to Dallas, Texas, when he was 46 years old, while his brother and Saoirse’s grandad, Robert F. Kennedy, was assassinated just years later in 1968 in Los Angeles during his own presidential run. Their brother Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. was killed in World War II and their sister Kathleen Cavendish died in a plane crash in 1948.
Later in 1999, JFK’s son, John F. Kennedy Jr. was killed when the airplane he was flying crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off Martha’s Vineyard, his wife and sister-in-law were on board and were also killed. Added to this list were the more recent deaths of 51-year-old Kara Kennedy, the daughter of Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, who died in 2011 following a workout at a health club. And then in 2012, Mary Richardson Kennedy, the estranged wife of Robert F. Kennedy Jr., was found dead in what appeared to be a suicide.