Billy Kennedy

Billy Kennedy, who lives in County Armagh, Northern Ireland, has been a leading journalist in Northern Ireland for the past 38 years. He has been an assistant editor, chief leader writer, news editor, political analyst, columnist and churches correspondent with the Belfast News Letter, the main morning newspaper in Northern Ireland and the oldest existing English-written newspaper in the world, founded back in September, 1737 when the movement of the Ulster-Scots (Scots-Irish) to America had begun in earnest. He is also the editor of The Ulster-Scot newspaper, a popular cultural publication with a large circulation in Northern Ireland and overseas, including the United States. On his regular visits to the United States over the past 15 years, Billy Kennedy has lectured on the subject of the Scots-Irish diaspora at universities, colleges, historical and genealogical societies and public authorities in cities and towns in the south-eastern and east-coast northern states. He is a regular broadcaster on news, current affairs and politics with the BBC and other leading media networks in the United Kingdom. In 2007, he appeared as an historical contributor in the American History Channel documentary, essentially on the remarkable story and achievements of Scots-Irish settlers and their descendants in the south-eastern Appalachian region, titled Hillbilly – The Real Story. He also featured as an author in the ‘Word on Word’ television series in 1995-1996, presented by John Siegenthaler, from Nashville. His other main interest is soccer (he has for 35 years been a member of the Management Committee of Northern Ireland’s leading Club – Linfield and is currently the Club’s Vice-Chairman.) He has written a number of books on that sport. He also has a great love and passion for American country music, particularly of the bluegrass and Appalachian folk brand and has interviewed many of Nashville’s top performers for his newspaper. He is married with one daughter. Billy Kennedy can be contacted at 49, Knockview Drive, Tandragee, Craigavon Northern Ireland BT62 2BH. E-mail address – billykennedy@fsmail.net