Ballyporeen, Co. Tipperary is the ancestral home of U.S. President Ronald Reagan. His great-grandfather lived there until he was about twenty years of age before leaving Ireland for London around 1850 and later America.
On the 3 June 1984 President Reagan made a return visit to his ancestral home.
In the weeks leading up to his visit the town receives a make-over. Fresh white lines are painted down the centre of the main street, new telephone kiosks are fitted, and a new telephone exchange is installed. Councillor Con Donovan speaks to RTÉ reporter Michael Ryan about the improvements.
The presidential visit brings the world's media to a small town in Co. Tipperary. In order to accommodate the journalists and crew, large tents are erected to house them during the visit. Tom Donovan tells RTÉ News about the international television and press crews that have visited Ballyporeen in the lead up to the visit of President Reagan.
Ballyporeen attempts to present itself in the best possible light to the international media. However, the story of a pony in a pub, set up for a British audience, presents a view of rural Ireland that is not exactly how Ballyporeen residents had planned to present their town.
This RTÉ News report by Michael Ryan was broadcast on 22 May, 1984.