Saturday 22 September 2018

Surreal to visit scene of JFK assassination, says Leo Varadkar

The Taoiseach made an impromptu stop at Dealey Plaza.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar looks out of the 7th floor window of the Dallas County Administration Building in Dealey Plaza (Niall Carson/PA)
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar looks out of the 7th floor window of the Dallas County Administration Building in Dealey Plaza (Niall Carson/PA)

By Michelle Devane, in Dallas, Texas, Press Association

Leo Varadkar has described visiting the scene of President John F Kennedy’s assassination as “surreal”.

The Taoiseach made an impromptu stop at Dealey Plaza in downtown Dallas on the second day of his St Patrick’s tour of the US.

Mr Varadkar looked down from the Texas Book Depository Building, where the shots that killed the 35th President of the United States were allegedly fired.

“It’s a bit surreal,” he said.

“It’s the kind of place that you hear about and read about so much.”

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Dealey Plaza Museum CEO Nicola Longford with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (Niall Carson/PA)

Two white X’s on the road mark the spots where the fatal shots struck the president as he travelled with his wife Jackie through Dallas in an open-topped car in November 1963.

The shooter Lee Harvey Oswald opened fire from the sixth floor of the Book Depository Building.

Nightclub owner Jack Ruby shot Oswald while he was in police custody two days after his arrest.

With access limited on the sixth floor of the building, Mr Varadkar looked down on Dealey Plaza from a similar vantage point one floor up on Monday.

He also toured a museum on the site with Irish ambassador to the US Dan Mulhall.

Mr Varadkar has previously visited the eternal flame at JFK’s grave in Arlington cemetery in Washington DC.

Press Association

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