The family of JFK’s Tyrone-born driver have denied any suggestion he was anti-Catholic despite his membership of the Orange Order.
Special Agent Bill Greer was a committee member of an Orange lodge in his native County Tyrone before he moved to the United States.
The Belfast News Letter revealed his Orange Order links and has now defended JFK’s driver against claims that he was a ‘secret member of the anti-Catholic’ order.
Irish Central has reported that some American researchers have claimed anti-Catholic elements were behind President Kennedy’s killing.
But Greer’s nephew Ken Torrens has rejected any suggestions that his uncle could have harboured anti-Catholic feelings.
The 88-year-old Torrens told the News Letter: “Every time I was talking to uncle Bill he said to me ‘can you lot not get away from that Catholic and Protestant thing you have over there? It’s disgusting. Why don’t you get a grip on yourselves?’ That’s what he said.”
The paper says that Torrens’ late mother Ellen was Bill Greer’s sister and the Torrens family made several visits to Greer’s home in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina.
After he retired from the Secret Service in the late 1970s, Greer returned to Northern Ireland and asked his nephew to take him back to his native Stewartstown to renew old acquaintances, almost 50 years since he emigrated to the US.
Torrens added: “I took him to the wee home where he was born. He asked me to take him to where his friend called Kirkpatrick lived and we drove down the lane.
“A big tractor was coming along and this guy was perched up on the top. Bill said to me ‘I think that’s him. The man said to him ‘do I know you?’ and Bill said ‘you should do’.
“The man said ‘you’re not Billy Greer from America are you?’ and then the two of them danced around and around like a couple of idiots.”
The uncle and nephew did discuss the Kennedy assassination but no information was forthcoming.
Torrens said: “When I asked him if they’d got the right man, Lee Harvey Oswald, he said to me, ‘no comment’.
“He said ‘you’re my nephew but I’m not allowed to talk about it. Maybe some day I’ll be able to tell you’.”