Meet Frank Kennedy
Dublin barrister Frank Kennedy first became interested in the Irish-American relationship while a summer intern in the Capitol Hill office of Senator Edward Kennedy.
It was 2005 and the political process in Northern Ireland was in a state of flux at the time. The DUP and Sinn Fein had not yet reached agreement on power-sharing or policing. The Assembly was suspended at the time and the St. Andrew’s Agreement was over a year away.
“Martin McGuinness visited Washington that summer, but Senator Kennedy was not prepared to meet him, in protest at the IRA’s reaction to the January 2005 murder of Robert McCartney. I was struck by the ongoing role played by certain American political figures in moving Northern Ireland’s politicians towards an agreement for the restoration of the Assembly”, Kennedy recalls.
The following summer Kennedy returned to DC with the Washington Ireland Program, interning at AFL-CIO. Then, after graduating from UCD with a degree in Law and French Law in the fall of 2007, he spent a year in Washington working for the US-Ireland Alliance.
“What impresses me most about the Alliance is the extent to which, through the George J. Mitchell Scholarship Program, it has introduced a whole range of Americans, of different ethnicities and with no prior connection to Ireland, to this country. In addition to working with the Irish Diaspora, theAlliance has created a lifelong interest in and connection with Ireland among, for example, many Asian Americans, African Americans and Hispanics.”
After working for the Alliance, Kennedy obtained a Masters degree in law from Oxford University, and then studied for the Irish bar at King’s Inns. Practicing at the bar since 2010, he trained primarily in commercial law and insolvency.