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JFK Death Threat in Ireland


Bill Cheslock
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This is an interesting article about documents released with

respect to a possible assassination attempt on JFK during his

visit to Ireland. It seems law enforcement in Ireland took the

threat very seriously. The source of this story is a Dublin newspaper,

"The Irish Times."

Bill C

Previous Day Friday, December 29, 2006Front Page | Ireland | World | Finance | Features | Sport | Opinion | Letters | The TicketSniper 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

Edited by Bill Cheslock
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This is an interesting article about documents released with

respect to a possible assassination attempt on JFK during his

visit to Ireland. It seems law enforcement in Ireland took the

threat very seriously. The source of this story is a Dublin newspaper,

"The Irish Times."

Bill C

Previous Day Friday, December 29, 2006Front Page | Ireland | World | Finance | Features | Sport | Opinion | Letters | The TicketSniper 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

Sorry Ladies and Gentlemen, I didn't see that Doug has already posted this story.

What I found interesting is the difference between how Irish officials and Dallas

officials handled security. I can't accept the excuse that the DPD didn't have any

clue that there was danger lurking prior to JFK's Dallas trip. JFK told his wife,

"we're going into nut country." If the President of the U.S. knew this, why didn't

law enforcement?

Bill C

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I wonder if a similar comparison has been made with the Berlin visit(s). It's just a curiosity arising from Ewald Peters, the German head of security, that a SS detail member spoke highly of, who after the assassination (December) accompanied the Chancellor on a visit to LBJ's ranch, and a month+ later hung himself in jail after being unmasked and arrested as a Nazi war criminal. He was responsible for the Berlin visit security.

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I wonder if a similar comparison has been made with the Berlin visit(s). It's just a curiosity arising from Ewald Peters, the German head of security, that a SS detail member spoke highly of, who after the assassination (December) accompanied the Chancellor on a visit to LBJ's ranch, and a month+ later hung himself in jail after being unmasked and arrested as a Nazi war criminal. He was responsible for the Berlin visit security.

John,

Are you aware of a detailed study of the motorcades featuring Kennedy and his immediate predecessor? I mean very detailed - order of vehicles, position of outriders, SS personnel and locations, pre-trip threat assessments and how they impacted on the routes etc. This would appear to be a gaping lacuna in assassination studies.

Paul

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No can't say I've heard of one. Sounds like a pretty good idea. One could perhaps see a significant pattern emerge. I can understand there being international differences. Germany and Ireland are different of course, but Ewald spent some time with the SS (USA) (and Nazi) I've spent a lot of fruitless time at the library looking through old der spiegels and other publications looking for anything on him. I wonder how much before Chancellor Gerhards visit he came to the US to participate in security peparations for the Dec visit.

I think Vince Palamera has done a very thorough study on the Dallas detail. Someone posted a link to it some time ago.

An interesting thing (coincidence no doubt) for those looking for a Cuban intrigue is Che's Irish heritage.

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I've spent a lot of fruitless time at the library looking through old der spiegels and other publications looking for anything on him. I wonder how much before Chancellor Gerhards visit he came to the US to participate in security peparations for the Dec visit.

John,

As you whirl your way through post-assassination editions of German newspapers, I'd be interested to know of any bits and pieces you come across of a similar nature to an item like this:

John Owen, “Overhaul of Security by Britain,” Daily Telegraph, Saturday, 23 November 1963, p.7:

The assassination of President Kennedy will mean a review of British security measures for the Queen, the Royal Family, and senior Ministers.

The hidden flaw in the American security screen must be identified to ensure its elimination from British plans.

Scotland Yard senior officers responsible for such guards are deeply shocked by news of the assassination. They have spent years, in liaison with the world’s police through Interpol, in perfecting safety measures.

FBI Efficiency: Unsuspected loophole

Presidential visits to Britain have meant in the past valuable co-operation with the FBI. The efficiency of the American security service is highly praised in the Metropolitan Police.

Full reports of the murder of the President will be studied today by the Yard’s Special Branch.

The unsuspected loophole in the American security curtain is known as the X-factor.

Yard Amazement: Bodyguard beaten

Among Yard officers last night was evident amazement that the formidable FBI bodyguard, all picked marksmen, could be beaten. Unspoken, but equally evident, was the fear “This could happen here.”

Royal appearances in Britain during recent years have been marked by a growing informality. This attitude, beloved by the crowds, has nevertheless meant grave and additional problems for the Yard and provincial police.

For Royal and Ministerial personal security plans are based upon countering attack or interference from the individual, rather than the group. Crowd control, where a gunman could be difficult to spot, is always a major problem.

I think Vince Palamera has done a very thorough study on the Dallas detail. Someone posted a link to it some time ago.

Agreed - there's some terrific stuff in Palamara's work.

Paul

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