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Saoirse Kennedy Hill funeral set for Monday morning

A funeral Mass will be said Monday for Saoirse Kennedy Hill (right).Elise Amendola/Associated Press/File 2016/Associated Press

Saoirse Kennedy Hill, the 22-year-old granddaughter of the late Robert F. Kennedy, will be remembered Monday morning in a funeral Mass on Cape Cod, according to a family spokesman.

Kennedy Hill, a Boston College student, was found unresponsive at the Kennedy compound in Hyannis Port on Thursday afternoon and later pronounced dead at Cape Cod Hospital.

Her funeral Mass will take place at 11 a.m. at Our Lady of Victory Church in the Barnstable village of Centerville, according to a statement released Sunday by Brian Wright O’Connor, a spokesman for former congressman Joseph P. Kennedy II.

A private burial service will follow the Mass.


Kennedy Hill’s death remains under investigation, and a toxicology report is forthcoming, according to authorities.

Many who knew Kennedy Hill have remembered her as an outspoken advocate for mental health issues. As a senior at Deerfield Academy in 2016, she wrote candidly about struggling with depression.

“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 then. “Although I was mostly a happy child, I suffered bouts of deep sadness that felt like a heavy boulder on my chest. These bouts would come and go, but they did not outwardly affect me until I was a new sophomore at Deerfield.”

David Thiel, Deerfield’s assistant head of school for strategy and planning, said Kennedy Hill was “a strong, selfless advocate for other people. She was courageous in writing and speaking about deeply personal issues.”

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Kennedy Hill’s uncle, said in a post on Instagram that she had been like his own daughter and like a sister to his children.

“Saoirse was fierce, both in her love for her family and yearning for justice,” he wrote. “A fearless adventurer, she inspired curiosity and daring in her friends. But her greatest gift was to find humor in everything and to give us all the gift of her laughter — and our own. The gaping hole that she leaves in our family is a wound too large to ever heal.”


Kennedy Hill’s godmother, Patricia Harty, said she was “such a beautiful, lively young child” who grew up to be a brave young woman who inspired Harty to be more bold in addressing important issues.

Her mother, Courtney Kennedy Hill, is the fifth of Robert F. and Ethel Kennedy’s 11 children, and her father, Paul Michael Hill, was one of four people falsely convicted in the 1974 Irish Republican Army bombings of two pubs. The two met and married in the 1990s, after Hill’s release from prison, but later divorced.

Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at jeremy.fox@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jeremycfox.