Jackie Kennedy Letters
Returned to Kennedys

Kennedy Letters. Photo: Sheppard's Irish Auction House

By Adam Farley, Deputy Editor
October / November 2014

The private letters of Jacqueline Kennedy to an Irish priest caused controversy last May when the Vincentian Fathers at All Hallows College in Dublin announced they were being put up for auction. The letters, written between 1950 and 1965 to Rev. Joseph Leonard, a resident of All Hallows, were subsequently removed from the auction, and their fate had been uncertain until the announcement made by the college.

The letters, some of which were reviewed by The Boston Globe, contained details of Jackie Kennedy’s life with JFK, discussion of her youthful aspirations and ambitions (she and Rev. Leonard met when she was just 21), and intimate expressions of her grief after the assassination of her husband in 1963.

The transfer “has taken place with regard to the respect due to what is correspondence of a private nature,” the Fathers said in a statement, adding, “We will be making no further comment on this matter.” The 172-year-old and cash-strapped college subsequently announced that they would be closing, citing the decision to cancel the auction as a major factor, according to RTÉ.

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