On Christmas Day 1945 American Serviceman Frank Hayostek stuffed a note into a bottle and tossed it from his troop carrier, eight months later it was found on a beach near Dingle in County Kerry by Breda O'Sullivan.

He was 21, she was 18. Breda wrote back to Frank, and in turn Frank wrote to Breda - and so a trans-Atlantic friendship started. Frank put aside $30 a month to come a visit Breda, it took him 6 years to save enough to fly to Ireland.

And so on August 5th 1952 Frank arrived in Shannon airport.

Would there be a romance? The world's press clearly hoped so, for they picked up on this impossibly romantic story and descended on Dingle en masse.

What happened next was part circus, part tragedy, but Frank and Breda's relationship never recovered. So what happened during Frank's two weeks in Ireland?

Sixty years on Frank and Breda are no longer with us, but their letters and their respective children help tell a story that's partly about friendship, possibly about deceit but absolutely involves bicycles.

Narrated and Produced by Peter Mulryan

Production Supervision by Liam O'Brien

First broadcast: August 4th 2012 @2pm

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