Death of Saoirse Kennedy Hill from an apparent overdose the latest tragedy to befall the US political dynasty
The Kennedy family has been hit by yet another tragedy as Saoirse Kennedy Hill, granddaughter of Robert Kennedy, died from an apparent overdose at her family's compound aged 22. It was the latest in a long line of horrific events to befall the American political dynasty in what has become known as the "Kennedy curse." Miss Kennedy Hill, who had suffered from mental illness, was the child of Courtney Kennedy, Robert Kennedy's daughter. Her father Paul Hill is one of the Guildford Four, who were wrongly convicted of the 1974 IRA pub bombings in Guildford. Mr Hill married Courtney Kennedy shortly after his release from prison. They named their daughter Saoirse, meaning "freedom" in Gaelic, and she spent some of her childhood in Ireland. In a statement the Kennedy family said: "Our hearts are shattered by the loss of our beloved Saoirse. Her life was filled with hope, promise and love. She lit up our lives with her love, her peals of laughter and her generous spirit." Saoirse Kennedy Hill wearing a Bobby Kennedy t-shirt Miss Kennedy Hill died at the sprawling six-acre Kennedy compound in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, along Nantucket Sound, which was known as President John F. Kennedy's "summer White House". It is now home to Robert Kennedy's widow Ethel. 91, who owns the house where Miss Kennedy Hill was found. In a statement Ethel Kennedy said: "The world is a little less beautiful today." The litany of tragedies that have hit the Kennedy clan include the assassinations of President Kennedy in Dallas in 1963, and of his brother Robert Kennedy five years later when he was running for the White House. Joseph Kennedy Jr, their brother, died in the Second World War, and their sister Kathleen Cavendish perished in a plane crash in 1948. The main home in the Kennedy family compound in Hyannis Port Credit: AP John F. Kennedy Jr, the son of the former president, died with his wife and sister-in-law in a small plane crash not far from Hyannis Port in 1999. David Anthony Kennedy, one of Robert Kennedy's sons, died of a drug overdose in Florida, aged 28, in 1984. Another of his sons, Michael Kennedy, died in a skiing accident in Aspen, Colorado, in 1997, aged 39. This year is the 50th anniversary of a a fatal car crash in which Edward Kennedy, then a presidential hopeful, drove off a bridge at Chappaquiddick, not far from Hyannis Port. His passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne, died. Miss Kennedy Hill was studying communications at Boston College and was due to graduate net year. She was vice president of the student Democrats, and had marched against gun violence. While at Deerfield Academy, an elite private school in Massachusetts, she had written about her struggles with depression and mental illness. Saoirse Kennedy Hill, as a child, places a white rose at the Eternal Flame, President John F. Kennedy's gravesite Credit: AP In 2016 she wrote: "My depression took root in the beginning of my middle school years and will be with me for the rest of my life.I totally lost it after someone I knew and loved broke serious sexual boundaries with me. "I did the worst thing a victim can do, and I pretended it hadn’t happened. This all became too much, and I attempted to take my own life." Local police said they responded to a "reported unattended death" on Thursday afternoon. Miss Kennedy Hill was taken to Cape Cod Hospital and pronounced dead. The Kennedy family did not confirm the cause of death but audio from a police scanner, which was picked up by US media outlets, indicated officers had been responding to a report of an overdose. A spokeswoman for the local district attorney’s office said: "The matter remains under investigation."
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