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Joe Kennedy speaking at the Ireland Funds dinner in Washington DC last night. PA
Washington DC

Joe Kennedy says he stands in solidarity with detective Caldwell and his family

Kennedy is the grandson of former US senator and attorney general Robert Kennedy.

US SPECIAL ENVOY to Northern Ireland has condemned the attempted assassination of Detective Chief Inspector John Caldwell. 

In an address to the Ireland Funds gala dinner held in Washington DC last night, Joe Kennedy III called for a standing ovation for Caldwell, who remains in a critical condition in hospital.

He also offered his support to PSNI Chief Constable Simon Byrne, who was present at the event in the US capital last night. 

Kennedy said he could say with 100% certainty that everyone in the room stood in solidarity with Byrne and Caldwell’s family and “all those that are fighting for peace and stability and a future we can share”. 

Caldwell was attacked last month at a coaching session for a youth football team.

He was putting footballs into the boot of his car and was accompanied by his young son when gunmen approached and fired multiple shots before fleeing the scene.

The officer was taken to hospital in critical condition. 

The 42-year-old former Democratic congressman filled the position of special envoy that had been vacant since January 2021, after the envoy under Donald Trump, Mick Mulvaney, stepped down from the post.

President Joe Biden told Kennedy he wanted him to focus on economic rather than political issues in Northern Ireland when he appointed him to the position in December. 

Kennedy is the grandson of former US senator and attorney general Robert Kennedy and the grandnephew of former US president John F Kennedy.

He told The Journal he was “terribly honored” to be appointed to the role and to serve the administration.

Biden asked Kennedy to “focus on the people of Northern Ireland”, he said.  “We believe in the country, we believe in the people, we believe in the future,” Kennedy said, adding that the US wants to support local efforts on the ground to make sure that the future is bright and prosperous.

“What the President has asked me to do is to try to leverage the power of the American government to continue the bet on the people of Northern Ireland that the United States has made now for decades.

He said he hoped parties can find a way to make the Windsor Framework deal work, hailing it as an “extraordinary achievement”.

Speaking to The Journal, he acknowledged that people need to take their time “evaluating the various proposals in front of them, appropriately”.

Westminster MPs will get their first chance to vote on UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s new deal with the EU on post-Brexit trading arrangements in Northern Ireland next week.

Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt said the House will be asked on Wednesday to approve regulations to implement the so-called Stormont brake element of the Windsor Framework.

Kennedy said he hopes that parties that are still assessing the framework will find a way to make it work in their constituencies.

“We stand by to assist and do anything we can to support,” he told The Journal.

The DUP, which is currently boycotting devolution at Stormont in protest at post-Brexit trading arrangements for Northern Ireland, is deliberating on whether to accept the Windsor Framework and return to power sharing.    


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