Failte Mr. President

Director: Nicola O'Callaghan

2004| Colour| mins| Ireland

Failte Mr President tells the story of President Reagan’s controversial visit to Ireland in 1984. 1984 was a US election year and his visit was seen both in Ireland and the US as a visit for votes. Reagan was widely considered to be the most ‘TV-savvy’ president in history and every part of his visit was carefully planned and timed to coincide with evening news in the US. However, unexpected anti-Reagan sentiment in Ireland was to unite diverse sectors of Irish society from the Catholic Church, to left- wing groups, to then Taoiseach Garrett Fitzgerald. The result was a widely supported and multifaceted protest, previously unheard of in terms of an American president visiting Ireland. And all played out on the US evening news… ‘Failte Mr President’ marks a turning point in our traditional love affair with America.

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