Pub Moves to Reagan Library

President Reagan has a pint of Smithwicks to toast his arrival in Ballyporeen.

By Liam Moriarty, Contributor
December / January 2006

The Ronald Reagan Pub of Ballyporeen, County Tipperary opened at its new location, The Ronald Reagan Library in Simi, California on October 22.

President Reagan’s great-grandfather emigrated from Ballyporeen during the 1800s, and on his 1984 trip to Ireland the President visited the area, stopping in at the pub. The President not only enjoyed a pint of Smithwicks but he also held a cabinet meeting in the pub’s lounge. Soon after the visit, the owners John and Mary O’Farrell, renamed the pub The Ronald Reagan Pub.

The pub had been in the O’Farrell family for over two hundred years until Frederick Ryan, a former Reagan advisor, made a “pilgrimage” to see it, and on behalf of the Reagan Library bought it from the O’Farrells for what he said was a “very considerate” price and the O’Farrells say was less than £100,000.

The pub’s entire contents, including cabinets, furniture and all the bottles and glasses (even the glass held by Nancy Reagan during the visit), were moved to the liibrary and installed in an exhibit directly under the nose of Reagan’s Air Force I jet. The exhibit also includes Reagan’s Marine I helicopter, parade limousine and a deactivated nuclear warhead.

The O’Farrells were on hand to pull the first pints at the pub’s reopening. “Needless to say, we were extremely pleased,” said Mary O’Farrell. ♦

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