Read about the time De Valera visited a courtroom in Kansas City where he met a woman accused of murder


By Pauline Murphy


One Hundred years ago a murder trial in Kansas City was interrupted by Eamon De Valera’s tour of the United States.


Dev was in America fundraising for the newly formed Dáil Éireann and his journey across the States drew crowds who turned out to hear the ‘President of the Irish Republic.’

He visited many places and met many people, including a female gangster on trial for murder!

On the 25th of October, 1919, the de Valera bandwagon rolled into Kansas City. Dev was there to be awarded the freedom of the city and was due to give a speech at Convention Hall the following night.

At that time a court case was the talk of the town and the President of the Irish Republic found himself going to the city courthouse to see what all the fuss was about.

Judge Ralph Latshaw was presiding over a murder trial and when he heard that Eamon De Valera was in his court he was more than pleased to make a big deal out of it.

Dev was ushered to the bench where he shook hands with the judge who gave him an overview of the trial in process. The judge then led Dev to the platform near the witness chair where he delivered a brief speech.

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