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Kennedy Targeted on 1963 Ireland Trip


Douglas Caddy
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Kennedy Targeted on 1963 Ireland Trip

By SHAWN POGATCHNIK

The Associated Press

Thursday, December 28, 2006; 8:31 PM

DUBLIN, Ireland -- President John F. Kennedy was the subject of three separate death threats during his visit to Ireland in 1963, according to newly declassified police documents released Friday.

The documents released by the Irish Justice Department said police received two anonymous telephoned warnings in the weeks before the arrival of the United States' first Irish Catholic president. A third threat went to the newsroom of the Irish Independent newspaper.

Kennedy's June 26-29 visit went ahead trouble free as he was greeted by adoring crowds in Dublin, Cork, Galway and at his family homestead in County Wexford, in southeast Ireland.

He was assassinated in Dallas five months later.

One threat claimed a sniper would target Kennedy as his motorcade traveled from Dublin Airport to the residence of the Irish president at the start of his visit. The second warned a bomb at Shannon Airport, in southwest Ireland, would detonate as Air Force One was about to depart.

According to the documents the third threat, phoned to the newspaper, indicated that Kennedy would be attacked at Dublin Airport, although the method wasn't specified.

The documents detailed police security concerns _ and also reflected officials' desire to impress both U.S. visitors and onlookers in Britain, Ireland's colonial master until 1922.

In a letter, Commissioner Daniel Costigan, the commander of Ireland's national police force in 1963, described the Kennedy tour as "the most important visit to this country since the establishment of the state, with worldwide publicity. British journalists are likely to be ready to criticize any fault in arrangements."

He wrote that although unlikely, "we cannot overlook the possibility" of an assassination attempt.

Costigan said his officers would use binoculars to monitor rooftops along the route of the presidential motorcade. He said an unspecified number of police would be armed with handguns, rifles and submachine guns _ an exceptional measure in a country with a largely unarmed police force _ to engage any would-be sniper.

The documents indicated that 6,404 police officers were on duty the night Kennedy arrived, and 2,690 lined the U.S. president's route from Dublin airport to the Phoenix Park mansion of Irish President Eamon de Valera.

___

On the Net:

JFK Library & Museum guide to 1963 visit, http://www.jfklibrary.org

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I hadn't read the Irish Times today so I was not aware of the story.

Here is the Irish Times article.

Sniper threat sparked alert during 1963 Kennedy visit

A tip-off about a plot to assassinate John F Kennedy with a sniper rifle during his visit as US president to Ireland in June 1963 sparked a massive security alert, with heavily armed Garda reinforcements escorting his motorcade after arrival at Dublin airport. Stephen Collins , Political Editor, reports.

The alert began in the early hours of June 22nd, five days before the US president was due to arrive, when a man rang Independent Newspapers claiming a sniper using a rifle fitted with a telescopic sight intended to kill him.

According to a Department of Justice file in the National Archives released today, gardaí arrived at a telephone kiosk at the junction of College Green and Westmoreland Street, from which the call had been made, within two to three minutes.

A Garda report said the caller must have left in a hurry because they saw nobody in the kiosk or in the vicinity. The man had sought payment for information about the claimed assassination plan.

He said the shot would be fired from a flat roof on the president's route between Dublin airport and the US ambassador's residence in the Phoenix Park.

Although gardaí suspected it could be a hoax, extra precautions were taken and a memo was sent to all stations, the Central Detective Unit and the Special Branch. "All roofs on the route to Dublin airport were scanned by members with binoculars travelling in the advance and escort cars," Garda commissioner Daniel Costigan reported.

"A rifle as well as Thompson guns and revolvers were carried for use against a possible sniper," he added.

President Kennedy was shot dead by a sniper in Dallas, Texas, five months later.

The newly released files, which have been withheld for well in excess of the normal 30 years, detail the extensive precautions that were taken in the weeks leading up to his visit. An advance party of US Secret Service agents, White House special detail agents and a CIA man from London took part in the planning.

They told Mr Costigan that they would not tolerate plans by NBC to put a television vehicle within 50 or 100 feet of the presidential car. All that was allowed was a motorised float travelling a reasonable distance ahead, carrying equipment for RTÉ and approved US TV companies.

The files also show that plans to make Mr Kennedy an honorary Irish citizen were scrapped after extensive behind-the-scenes consultations.

The awarding of the honour was to have been one of the high points of the president's four-day visit to Ireland but Irish and American officials raised so many legal difficulties that the plan was abandoned.

© 2006 The Irish Times

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The story of the phone-in warning to the Cork examiner is covered in Irish Journalist T.P. O'Mahony's book 'The Kennedy Restoration'. The story is given little credibility.

If Bill Kelly is reading this, this is the book that I gave you in June of this year at the American University.

I'm currently looking to see if the documents are online or if there is any way to get a hold of them.

Studying the photographs and documents of JFK's trip to Ireland show the tight security along the parade route in comparison with Dallas.

I will post more information as I get it.

John

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The story of the phone-in warning to the Cork examiner is covered in Irish Journalist T.P. O'Mahony's book 'The Kennedy Restoration'. The story is given little credibility.

If Bill Kelly is reading this, this is the book that I gave you in June of this year at the American University.

I'm currently looking to see if the documents are online or if there is any way to get a hold of them.

Studying the photographs and documents of JFK's trip to Ireland show the tight security along the parade route in comparison with Dallas.

I will post more information as I get it.

John

The Washington Post is covering this story: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/conte...2801101_pf.html

I believe the man who phoned in the story to the Cork newspaper was Dominic Galvin. There are documents at NARA on him. I also have additional material on him, originally from the files of British researcher Hazel Hales (if memory serves). The material I have includes handwritten letters from Galvin, a newspaper story, and a transcript of an interview by the newspaper with Galvin. If there is interest I could post some of it. It involves an alleged Castro plot to kill Kennedy in Ireland.

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...It involves an alleged Castro plot to kill Kennedy in Ireland.

So this could be yet another flurry of disinformation?

Total speculation here: Could be timed to distract from the Gerald Ford role in the cover-ups.

I very much doubt it seeing as how it was released by the Irish DOJ and the Galvin story has been around for a number of years.

Gary, if you could post those documents or direct me as to whether they are online on the NARA website that would be great.

Cheers,

John

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...It involves an alleged Castro plot to kill Kennedy in Ireland.

So this could be yet another flurry of disinformation?

Total speculation here: Could be timed to distract from the Gerald Ford role in the cover-ups.

I very much doubt it seeing as how it was released by the Irish DOJ and the Galvin story has been around for a number of years.

Gary, if you could post those documents or direct me as to whether they are online on the NARA website that would be great.

Cheers,

John

Hit 1 of 3

AGENCY INFORMATION

AGENCY : HSCA

RECORD NUMBER : 180-10071-10479

RECORDS SERIES : NUMBERED FILES

AGENCY FILE NUMBER : 010106

DOCUMENT INFORMATION

ORIGINATOR : CITIZEN

FROM : GALVIN, DOMINICK

TO : [No To]

TITLE : [No Title]

DATE : 07/08/1978

PAGES : 7

DOCUMENT TYPE : LETTER

SUBJECTS : GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE

CLASSIFICATION : UNCLASSIFIED

RESTRICTIONS : OPEN IN FULL

CURRENT STATUS : OPEN

DATE OF LAST REVIEW : 06/21/1993

COMMENTS : Box 186.

Audit history for this Record Identification Form

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------Hit 2 of 3

AGENCY INFORMATION

AGENCY : HSCA

RECORD NUMBER : 180-10096-10445

RECORDS SERIES : NUMBERED FILES.

AGENCY FILE NUMBER : 009553

DOCUMENT INFORMATION

ORIGINATOR : CITIZEN

FROM : GALVIN, DOMINICK.

TO : [No To]

TITLE : [No Title]

DATE : 06/28/1978

PAGES : 6

DOCUMENT TYPE : LETTER.

SUBJECTS : GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE.

CLASSIFICATION : UNCLASSIFIED

RESTRICTIONS : OPEN IN FULL

CURRENT STATUS : OPEN

DATE OF LAST REVIEW : 07/06/1993

COMMENTS : Box 175.

Audit history for this Record Identification Form

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------Hit 3 of 3

AGENCY INFORMATION

AGENCY : HSCA

RECORD NUMBER : 180-10083-10227

RECORDS SERIES : NUMBERED FILES

AGENCY FILE NUMBER : 011147

DOCUMENT INFORMATION

ORIGINATOR : CITIZEN

FROM : GALVIN, DOMINICK\

TO : HSCA

TITLE : [No Title]

DATE : 08/19/1978

PAGES : 10

DOCUMENT TYPE : LETTER

SUBJECTS : GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE

CLASSIFICATION : UNCLASSIFIED

RESTRICTIONS : OPEN IN FULL

CURRENT STATUS : OPEN

DATE OF LAST REVIEW : 06/24/1993

COMMENTS : Box 203.

I do not have these documents. I'll try to post more later on the other material I have. From memory, Galvin was acquainted with a Cuban sailor who warned him that there was going to be an attempt on Kennedy. Jack Ruby's name was mentioned. Galvin phoned the Cork newspaper, as reported in the Kennedy Restoration, but didn't mention Castro or Ruby. Galvin was later interviewed by the Daily Mirror, as I recall.

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I finally got a reply from the national archives.

Here is my request to them followed by their reply.

Subject: John F Kennedy Documents

Hello,

My name is John Geraghty, I am a history student at NUI Maynooth. I was wodering whether the recently released documents about President Kennedy's trip to Ireland were available online and whether there was an official explanation from the justice department as to why the documents were witheld for so long.

Would I have to go to the archives to view the documents in question?

Any help that you can give me would be much appreciated.

Yours sincerely,

John Geraghty

Dear Mr Geraghty,

With regard to your email below, I am writing to inform you that while the annual releases are not yet available online, the recently released files relating to President Kennedy’s visit to Ireland in June 1963 can be consulted in person in the Reading Room of the National Archives – for information on planning a visit, please see our website at http://www.nationalarchives.ie/contactus/index.html.

As to the reason why the Department of Justice withheld the files relating to the security surrounding the presidential trip, the National Archives was not provided with an official explanation for the delayed release of the material – such decisions which should be documented internally are taken by the certifying officers working in the relevant Government Departments and in the case of the Department of Justice, there is an individual certifying officer for each of the internal divisions in that Department.

I would therefore recommend that you contact either the Garda Administration Division of the Department or alternatively, Mr Gerry Shannon, who also works in the Department of Justice as they should be in a position to explain the official decision taken to withhold the files in question – the website of the Department of Justice can be found at http://www.justice.ie/80256DFD00637EE0/vWeb/pcSSTY5UBER3-en.

Hoping the above information will be of assistance.

Yours sincerely,

Elizabeth McEvoy,

Archivist,

National Archives of Ireland,

Bishop Street,

Dublin 8,

Ireland.

I will contact the Department of Justice and see if they have anything to say.

By the sounds of it the archives may well put the documents online. i have some free time coming up so I will drop by and make copies of the documents and put them on the forum.

John

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