A new trove of unclassified JFK assassination files released Dec. 15, 2021, revealed that three days before Sept. 24, 1964, public release of Warren Commission report, U.S. officials in Dublin urged copies be “expeditiously & abundantly provided” to Irish press due to “unique identification” with the late president.
Nearly 3,000 more records related to the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy were released to the public Oct. 26, 2017. Almost 4,000 records became available in July under a 1992 law requiring the disclosure of U.S. government documentation of the event. A few thousand remaining files remain under review.
By coincidence, the releases come in the centenary of JFK’s birth. His death in Dallas was five months after his triumphal visit to Ireland.
My search of the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration’s special Kennedy Assassination Records database found about two dozen documents with references to “Ireland” or “Irish.” The document images are not available online, but the result list provides some basic details.
The collection includes a Nov. 22, 1963, condolence cable from Taoiseach Seán Francis Lemass to President Lyndon Johnson, and resolutions of sympathy from Dáil Éireann. Johnson replied to Lemass on Nov. 29.
The records include “Irish participation in JFK funeral,” “participation by the Irish Guards,” and “guidance on memorials to President Kennedy in Ireland.”
Most intriguing, however, is a one-page Nov. 29, cable from the American Embassy in Dublin to the U.S. State Department in Washington, D.C. The description says:
Telegram reporting information from FBI informant claimed IRA in Ireland planned to “commit mayhem in Dallas.”
Without reading the cable, it is impossible to say whether this “mayhem” foretold the assassination, or retaliation on the city for the murder of the world’s most famous Catholic Irish American.
In 1992, Oklahoma historian Kendrick Moore suggested the IRA may have killed Kennedy because he spoke out against isolationism from the Protestant north during his June 1963 visit. “It had to be the IRA; they are the last ones you would suspect,” he told The Oklahoman newspaper.
There are many conspiracy theories surrounding the Kennedy assassination. Here’s another: The index of the September 1964 Warren Commission report on the assassination is missing the letter “I” for Ireland, Irish, and IRA.