Saoirse Kennedy Hill's Father Paul Honors Her by Jumping from a Buoy despite His Fear of Heights and Water

On Wednesday, one of the Kennedy family members took to Instagram with images showing the late Saoirse Kennedy Hill's father taking a leap into the water in her honor.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., 65, shared images of Paul Hill conquering his fears in honor of his late daughter Saoirse Kennedy Hill, 22. The young woman was buried two days before.

Kennedy Jr’s post revealed that Hill had a fear for both water and heights but wanted to pay tribute to his late daughter anyway. A couple of pictures showed Hill jumping into the harbor at Hyannis Port from a buoy.

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1) Saoirse’s father Paul Hill served 15 years in British prisons after UK Police tortured him into confessing to an IRA bombing that he did not commit. The Daniel Day Lewis film, “In the Name of the Father” chronicles his story. In 1993,four years after his release, Paul married my sister Courtney, a human rights activist. Saoirse, whose name is Gaelic for “freedom” was passionate about justice and her Irish heritage. 2) St. Patrick’s Day with Seersh. 3) Diving for Quahogs with her cousins. 4) parachuting. 5) yoga on the deck. 6) surfing Hawaii. 7) underwater 8) Saoirse with seaweed hairdo. She considered herself a citizen of USA, Ireland, and the Ocean. 9) at RFK Human Rights event. 10) Saoirse on Glide’s bow.

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Saoirse’s uncle (Kennedy Jr.) was the one who captured the images. He explained in the caption of the post that the family was asked to witness Hill jump so that they could “rescue him when he hit the water,” because he didn’t know how to swim.

One of the pictures showed Saoirse’s father pumping his fist in the air after landing in water. According to the late girl’s uncle, Hill grew up in Falls Road in Belfast in the ghetto part of it.

He then “spent most of his adult life in 38 British prisons,” and “never learned to swim.” Hill was imprisoned for more than a decade for a crime he didn’t commit.

He was wrongfully convicted of a bombing carried out by the IRA along with Gerry Conlon, Paddy Armstrong, and Carole Richardson. The men were then known as the Guilford Four.

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We’ve lost our daughter and our children, their sister. Saoirse was fierce, both in her love for her family and yearning for justice. 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. 1) Saoirse at our Cape House. 2) Leaping from jetty with cousin Michaela. 3) Cheryl moves Saoirse into Boston College dorm. 4) On stage with Kenny Chesney at Foxborough with Courtney, Noah, and Kenny in mid leap. 5) with her cousins on Glide. 6) relaxing with cousin Noah on boom. 7) New Years Day On summit of Ajax with cousins. 8) A luminous, beautiful soul. 9) with Cheryl at Cape. 10) Swinging on halyard into Nantucket Sound.

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On Monday, Saoirse’s family buried her after she died from a suspected overdose last week. She was found at her family’s Massachusetts compound in Hyannis Port.

A toxicology report is expected to clarify what caused her death. The day after her passing was meant to have included a flight to Los Angeles which she was excited about.

Hill shared Saoirse with Courtney Kennedy Hill, 62.

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1) Saoirse’s Dad, Paul Hill, has a terror of both heights and water. Having grown up in the catholic ghetto of the Falls Road in Belfast, and spent most of his adult life in 38 British prisons, he never learned to swim. Nevertheless,he wanted to jump off the HH buoy in Saoirse’s honor. He asked us to be there to rescue him when he hit the water. 2) Baptized. 3) Rescue. 4) with Grandma Ethel, Kyra Kennedy, Sydney Lawford and Paul Hill. 5) Seersh on HP jetty with Caroline Shriver. 6)Seersh and Kathleen Shriver. 7)Seersh at Thanksgiving with her friend David Whiteside (#TennesseeRiverkeeper). 8) with Noah Kennedy on Slip-n-Slide at Best Buddies event. 9) on Glide’s bowsprit with Noah. 10) Sailor girl. #SaoirseKennedy Read my Eulogy to Saoirse. Link in bio.

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Saoirse’s funeral was held at Our Lady of Victory Church, a few miles from the family's compound. She was set to start her senior year at Boston College next month.

The young woman was pronounced dead at Cape Cod Hospital. 

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. Other international suicide helplines can be found at

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