Ballyporeen in County Tipperary has up to now been a quiet little town, with its only claim to fame being a reference in a Percy French song.

That has changed since researchers from Debrett’s Peerage and Baronetage have claimed Ballyporeen as the ancestral home of the President of the United States of America Ronald Reagan. According to their research, the President’s great-grandfather Michael Regan was baptised in the village in 1829.

RTÉ reporter Pat Butler visits Ballyporeen and speaks to pub owners John and Mary O’Farrell. They were taken by surprise when people from Debrett’s visited their pub and told them about the findings.

Liam Moher a journalist with the Cork Examiner explains the four basic claims made by Debrett’s linking Michael Regan to the President. 

I’d like to believe it as much as anybody here. I think it’s credible because Debrett’s has laid a line literally from here to the White House.

Father Eanna Condon from the Parish of Templetenney, the old name for Ballyporeen, shows the parish register which clearly corroborates Debrett’s findings that Michael Regan from Doolis in Ballyporeen was baptised there on 3 September 1829.

An ‘Ireland’s Eye’ report by Pat Butler broadcast on 19 November 1980.