Dorothy Tubridy’s special friendship with the Kennedy family is recalled in a public exhibition in Trim, Co. Meath, writes John Donohoe
An exhibition celebrating the life of Dot Tubridy, Irish confidante of the Kennedy political dynasty, is currently taking place in Trim, Co Meath, where she and her late showjumper husband, Captain Michael Tubridy, lived after their marriage.
The Kilkenny-born lady became an extended member of the famous American political dynasty through her friendship with Ethel and Robert Kennedy, whose daughter Courtney is her Goddaughter.
There are many who would use such connections to their own advantage. Dot Tubridy never exploited her relationship with the Kennedys for such purposes. Instead, she used it to benefit her country, from her involvement in the planning for President John F Kennedy’s visit to Ireland in 1963, to the Northern Ireland Peace Process of the 1990s.
And it was a real friendship, born when Dot’s husband, the daring Captain Michael Tubridy, footballer and army show jumper, met fellow equestrian Ethel Skakel, fiancée of Bobby Kennedy, at a showjumping event in Madison Square Gardens in 1949.
The two young couples bonded and became close, and when Michael Tubridy was tragically killed in a horseriding accident at Trimblestown Stud outside Trim in 1954, the young widow was invited to America to spend time with the Kennedy clan in Florida.