Mother of the Kennedys


About this Item

An exclusive filmed interview with Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy. She talks about her life and how she coped with the violent deaths of three of her sons Joseph, President John F and Attorney-General Robert Kennedy. Filmed at the Kennedy homes in Hyannisport, Massachusetts, her son Ted and daughter Eunice also feature.

  • Title
    Mother of the Kennedys
  • 1st Broadcast
  • Contributor
    Peter Lemass (Interviewer)
    Brian O'Reilly (Camera and Editing)
    Dermod McCarthy (Unit Manager)
    Tom Stack (Research)
    Desmond Forristal (Writer and Director)
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    Mother of the Kennedys
  • Extended description

    The Radharc team created another first when interviewing Rose Kennedy mother of former president John F Kennendy and former Attorney-General Robert Kennedy. No film crew had previously been given access to the Kennedy home. Her son, Senator Edward Kennedy and daughter Eunice Shriver are also interviewed during the programme.

    The idea for this film came about after the tragic death of a teenage girl in Athy, County Kildare. The Radharc team discussed making a programme that might help parents to cope with the sudden death of a child. Why not talk to a woman known worldwide as mother of not one but three children who had died tragically and very publicly?

    Rose Kennedy agreed to the film after an initial approach through Fr Delaney, a parish priest in Florida near the Kennedy winter home.

    As the Radharc team prepared to travel to America a cable from Mrs Kennedy cancelled the interview. Fr Dermod McCarthy flew out to meet with Rose Kennedy and after spending the weekend in her home, Mrs Kennedy was reassured and agreed to the film being made.

    Rose Kennedy talks about her faith, raising a large family, the difficulty of losing three sons through violent death and a life immersed in politics.

    'Mother of the Kennedys' was first broadcast on the eve of the tenth anniversary of the death of President John F Kennedy.

  • Information

    'Radharc', a series specialising in religious programming, was produced for RTÉ by Radharc, an independent production company run by Catholic priests and lay staff. 'Radharc' can be translated to English as 'view' or 'panorama'.

    Co-founders Fr Joe Dunn and Fr Desmond Forristal who had received training in television production in New York in 1959 gathered around them a team of like minded priests with creative talent.

    The 'Radharc' team made their first production in 1960 in Donegal, a short film about customs relating to St Brigid's Day. The first programme in the 'Radharc' series for RTÉ was broadcast on 12 January 1962.

    Between 1961 and 1996 the Radharc team would produce over 400 films in Ireland and 75 countries worldwide. The films dealt with human rights, injustice, faith, religion, persecution, struggles against oppressive regimes,famine, and Christian heritage.

    The popular series ended production in 1996 after the death of Fr Joe Dunn.

    The accompanying image of Rose Kennedy and Fr Dermod McCarthy is provided courtesy of the IFI Film Archive/Radharc Trust.

  • Local keywords
    Rose Kennedy, Eunice Shriver, Edward Kennedy, Politics, Religion, Radharc, Catholic, Belief
  • Geographical coverage
    United States of America, USA, Boston, America
  • Topic
    Religion and Belief
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  • IPR restrictions
    Rights Reserved - Free Access
  • Rights terms and conditions

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  • Language used
    English (eng)