SAOIRSE KENNEDY Hill’s friends and family mourned her sad passing with an Irish poem at a private funeral attended by several members of the Kennedy family.
The 22-year-old died unexpectedly at the Kennedy family compound in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, last week.
Her funeral was held at Our Lady of Victory Church in nearby Barnstable on Monday, August 5, with close friends and family in attendance for the private function.
But while the service was closed to the media, reporter Jason Kolnos was still able to share a picture from the funeral’s program featuring an Irish poem paying tribute to the young woman.
Entitled “When Saoirse’s Eyes are Smiling,” the poem is adapted from the familiar the Irish tune 'When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” and read as follows:
"When Saoirse's eyes are smiling, sure, 'tis like the morn in Spring. In the lilt of Irish laughter, you can hear the angels sing. When Irish hearts are happy, All the world seems bright and gay. And when Saoirse's eyes are smiling, sure, they steal your heart away."
— Jason Kolnos (@JasonKolnosCCT) August 5, 2019
Held in the same church as Eunice Kennedy Shriver’s funeral and Caroline Kennedy’s wedding, the service was well attended by the Kennedy family.
Ethel Kennedy, Ted Kennedy Jr, Joe Kennedy Jr and Rep Joe Kennedy III were all present, with the latter three serving as pallbearers.
They were joined by Saoirse’s distraught father and wrongly accused Guildford Four member Paul Hill, in carrying the casket.
REST IN PEACE: Robert F. Kennedy widow Ethel joined family members at a Cape Cod church for the funeral of 22-year-old granddaughter Saoirse Kennedy Hill, who was found unresponsive at the family compound; investigators are awaiting toxicology reports. https://t.co/nXKS6e2uEq pic.twitter.com/A4VY1cHRC5
— World News Tonight (@ABCWorldNews) August 5, 2019
The daughter of Bobby and Ethel’s fifth child Courtney, Saoirse struggled with mental illness during her time at high school when she was sexually assaulted by someone she "knew and loved."
"My depression took root in the beginning of my middle school years and will be with me for the rest of my life," she wrote, years later.
"Although I was mostly a happy child, I suffered bouts of deep sadness that felt like a heavy boulder on my chest."
The Kennedy family previously paid tribute to Saoirse with the following statement: "Our hearts are shattered by the loss of our beloved Saoirse."
“She lit up our lives with her love, her peals of laughter and her generous spirit,” the family said. “[She] was passionately moved by the causes of human rights and women’s empowerment and found great joy in volunteer work, working alongside indigenous communities to build schools in Mexico. We will love her and miss her forever.”