US Secret Service foiled attack on President Ronald Reagan during visit to Ireland

US Secret Service foiled attack on President Ronald Reagan during visit to Ireland

Man holding a concealed broken glass attempted to shake hands with the president



IrishCentral Staff Writer

Published Friday, June 1, 2012, 7:17 AM




President Reagan during his visit toIrelandin 1984

Photo by Swimtwobirds


A new documentary about the late President Ronald Reagan’s visit toIrelandrecounts how the Secret Service prevented an attack on the President during his visit in 1984.

A man holding a concealed broken piece of glass tried to shake hands with the president after breaching a secure area where the president was standing in his ancestral town ofBallyporeeninTipperary, ready to address an audience.

MC for the event Derek Davis recounts in a new documentary about the visit that said Mr Reagan was still “somewhat fragile” when he arrived in Ballyporeen with his wife, Nancy after an 1981 assassination attempt left him injured.

“They (secret service) were very nervous at the time. Charm was not one of their gifts and their relationship with people on the ground was very poor,” he recalled.

“Anecdotally, we were told there was a bit of a kerfuffle up the main street. Some nutter had attempted to shake hands with Reagan whilst holding a piece of broken glass.

“At one point, Reagan was completely surrounded by secret servicemen all in identical raincoats — identical to his. They were all of a certain height, all of a certain build and all dressed identically and they milled around him,” Mr Davis revealed.

“InterestinglyNancywas left on the outside of that ring.”

The  member of the crowd pushed beyond security barriers and attempted to force his way into an area that was occupied by the president and his party.

Reagan was the target of many protestors especially for his handling of Central American issues such asEl SalvadorandNicaraguawhere he funded right-wing parties and militias.

The  attempted attack was, of course, thwarted by the Secret Service and has been kept under wraps since the incident. It has only since come to light in the new documentary which marks 28 years since the President’s visit toTipperary.

More famously, three years prior to his visit toTipperary, President Reagan was the target of another assassination attempt. On March 30 1981, just 69 days into his presidency, Reagan and members of his team were shot at by John Hinckley, Jr outside of the Washington Hilton Hotel inWashington,DC.

Though President Reagan did sustain a punctured lung and heavy internal bleeding as a result of the shooting, he recovered fully. Several members of his entourage, many of whom were Irish American, also sustained injuries.

White House Press Secretary at the time, James Brady, was the first to be shot, receiving a bullet in his head, which ultimately left him paralyzed.

Thomas Delahunty, a police officer for theDistrict of Columbia, was the second to be shot and was hit in the back of his neck as he turned to protect President Reagan. The bullet in Delahunty’s neck had to be removed on the scene for fear that it would explode within his body
Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy was the fourth to be shot as he spread his body over the President to protect him.

John Hinckley, Jr was found not guilty of the assassination attempt by way of insanity and has since been confined to a mental institution.

‘A Rainy Day in June’ was broadcast on Tipp FM.


Reagan attack bid kept secret


AN attempted attack on US President Ronald Reagan during his Irish visit was successfully foiled by the Secret Service — and kept secret for three decades.

The revelation came in a new documentary to mark the 28th anniversary of the visit to his ancestral home in Ballyporeen, CoTipperary.

During the trip in 1984, a member of the crowd pushed beyond security barriers and attempted to force his way into an area to be occupied by the president and his party.


About vincepalamara

Vincent Palamara was born in Pittsburgh and graduated from Duquesne University with a degree in Sociology. Although not even born when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, Vince brings fresh eyes to an old case. In fact, Vince would go on to study the largely overlooked actions - and inactions - of the United States Secret Service in unprecedented detail, as well as achieving a world's record in the process, having interviewed and corresponded with over 80 former agents (the House Select Committee on Assassinations had the old record of 46 with a 6 million dollar budget and subpoena power from Congress), not to mention many surviving family members, White House aides, and even quite a few Parkland and Bethesda medical witnesses for a corresponding project. The result was Survivor's Guilt: The Secret Service & The Failure To Protect President Kennedy. Vince is also the author of the books JFK: From Parkland To Bethesda, The Not-So-Secret Service, Who's Who in the Secret Service, and Honest Answers about the Murder of President John F. Kennedy: A New Look at the JFK Assassination. All told, Vince has been favorably mentioned in over 140 JFK and Secret Service related books to date (including two whole chapters in Murder in Dealey Plaza, The Secret Service: The Hidden History Of An Enigmatic Agency by Philip Melanson, and the Final Report of the Assassination Records Review Board, among many others), often at length, in the bibliographies, and in the Secret Service - and even medical evidence - areas of these works. Vince has appeared on the History Channel's THE MEN WHO KILLED KENNEDY (VHS and DVD), C-SPAN, Newsmax TV, A COUP IN CAMELOT (DVD/BLU RAY), KING KILL '63, THE MAN BEHIND THE SUIT (DVD), National Geographic's JFK: THE FINAL HOURS (including on DVD), PCN, BPTV, local cable access television, YouTube, radio, newspapers, print journals, at national conferences, and all over the internet. Also, Vince's original research materials, or copies of said materials, are stored in the National Archives (by request under Deed Of Gift by the ARRB), the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, Harvard University, the Assassination Archives and Research Center, and the Dallas Public Library. Vince Palamara has become known (as he was dubbed by the History Channel in 2003) "the Secret Service expert." As former JFK Secret Service agent Joe Paolella proclaimed: "You seem to know a lot about the Secret Service, maybe even more than I do!" Agent Dan Emmett calls Vince a Secret Service expert in his new book.
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