Kennedy cousins set to open Dot Tubridy exhibition in Trim
Two members of the Kennedy clan – Courtney Kennedy Hill and Sydney Kennedy Lawford McKelvy – will be in Trim next month for the opening of the Dot Tubridy memorabilia exhibition, 'Dear Dot'. The announcement was made at the launch of the exhibition by Trim Tourism Network in the Castle Arch Hotel in the town, by Mick Hughes, chairperson of the tourism organisation.
Dot Tubridy, whose late husband, showjumper Captain Mick Tubridy, was based at Trimblestown Stud in Kildalkey prior to his death in 1954, was a close confidante of the American political clan, and was Godmother to Courtney Kennedy, daughter of Bobby and Ethel Kennedy.
Sydney Lawford is daughter of Patricia Kennedy and actor and Rat Pack member, Peter Lawford.
Dot Tubridy died in May 2018, and wished to “slip out quietly” so asked that there be no death notice in the paper before her funeral.
After her funeral in Booterstown, her nephew, Eric Lawlor, who lives in Trim, realised how important a connection his aunt Dorothy was between Ireland and the Kennedys, before and after the White House Camelot years.
He suggested to her grandchildren that this connection be celebrated by an exhibition of her correspondence with the Kennedys, photographs, election memorabilia and correspondence with other powerful politicians and celebrities such as Bing Crosby, whom Dot became friendly with while she worked as a Waterford Crystal representative in the US.
“They arrived down one Saturday night with eight boxes of material, and I was up for hours reading them. Everything thing, every letter, every picture, told another story,” Eric says.
“It was stuff that you wouldn't get a chance to get close to – photographs of John F Kennedy with his named signed on them, books signed by Bobby, it belongs in a museum.”
"It is world quality memorabilia, and when I brought it to a meeting of Trim Tourism Network, we were in shock and awe at the material which is going on display in Trim, to remember an amazing woman."
Through Dot's family and her contacts book, he made contact with Joseph Kennedy III, who spoke for an hour about Dot, and put him in contact with Courtney Kennedy, who was married to Paul Hill of the Guildford Four, and who was Dot's Goddaughter.
“She thinks the exhibition is a great idea, and because they missed the funeral, they are coming over to celebrate Dot. She was their aunt as much as mine, and I want to hear their stories too.”
Other speakers at the launch included Cllr Noel French, Cllr David Gilroy of Meath Tourism, Helen Leddy of Trim Tourism Network who was MC, John Donohoe of the Meath Chronicle who spoke of Captain Michael Tubridy's showjumping career, and other Kennedy family connections with Meath, and the sponsor of the exhibition, Oliver Layden of Trimfold Envelopes.
The exhibition opens on 12th May in Trim Heritage Centre and will run for the summer months. Waterford Crystal is producing two special crystal pieces for presenting to the Kennedy women on their visit.