Kennedy Summer School to host 1963-style Kennedy Tea Party

The most famous Irish tea party is set to be re-enacted at the JFK Arboretum in county Wexford

The most famous Irish tea party is set to be re-enacted at the JFK Arboretum in county Wexford during the annual Kennedy Summer School on the afternoon of Thursday, September 8th, 2022.

The Kennedy Summer School will celebrate the iconic Presidential visit of John F Kennedy to New Ross and Dunganstown with a special event of talks, entertainment and afternoon tea. The event will be hosted by Sean Connick, Chief Executive of the JFK Trust New Ross and will feature guest personality Mary Kennedy o talk about her career paths and life after RTÉ. The afternoon promises to be an interesting, entertaining, lively opportunity for all involved to meet, mingle and chat in that most typical of Irish ways – over a cup of tea.

During the event mezzo-soprano, Olga Doroshchuk a Ukrainian opera singer film and theatre actress who came to Ireland in April due to the war in her homeland will entertain visitors at the event with an operatic performance. Olga has performed many roles in Kyiv including Gertrude in Gounod’s ‘Roméo et Juliette’ with the Kyiv Opera Theatre, Lyubasha in Rimsky-Korsakov’s ‘The Tsar’s Bride’, and the title role Carmen in Bizet’s ‘Carmen’, very character role Zita from Puccini’s opera”Gianni Schicchi” in Camerton Theatre, Berta from “Il Barbiere di Siviglia” opera Rossini in Young Opera Theatre.

In addition, the rare film footage of the visit of President John F Kennedy captured by the late Peggy Walsh will also be screened.

Guests to the event will be treated to an array of pastries and cakes and of course a traditional fruit cake, which is what President John F. Kennedy along with his sisters Eunice Shriver and Jean Kennedy-Smith were served by his cousin Mary Ryan during his visit in 1963, these delicious treats will be made by the expert members of the Wexford Federation Irish Country Women’s Association.

During his visit, the President cuts a slice of the cake, which he ends up giving to Mary Ryan, his second cousin-once-removed. He thanks her and her friends for doing all of the cooking and offers a toast, “a cup of tea to all the Kennedys who went and all the Kennedys who stayed”.

The annual Kennedy Summer School is set to host a number of expert discussions and is billed as ‘A Festival of Irish and American, History, Politics and Culture. There will be over 40 guest speakers participating with United States Ambassador to Ireland Claire Cronin set to officially open the event, the Irish American State Legislators’ Caucus will join a panel discussion, and Minister Simon Harris is the Kennedy Summer School Speakers Lunch, US politician and grandson of Robert Kennedy, Joe Kennedy will join the event remotely plus there are a host of politicians, political commentators and correspondents and leading global academics who will all join in the discussions billed for the annual Kennedy Summer School which is set to take place in New Ross, Co. Wexford this September 8th to 10th 2022.

The 2022 Summer School will focus on topical issues in Irish and U.S. politics with leading expert speakers from both sides of the Atlantic along with a focus on Russia and Ukraine and a discussion on Sustainable Futures and political impact. More than 40 guest speakers will participate in debates on a wide range of subjects with the U.S. and Ukraine featuring prominently.

The 2022 Kennedy Summer School programme of events and tickets are now available online at or call St. Michael’s Theatre on 051 421255.