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Aran sweaters, Avoca rugs and Waterford Crystal Statue of Liberty: Gifts Taoiseach gave Ronald Reagan

Reagan said the Waterford Crystal Statue of Liberty would be displayed permanently in the Statue of Liberty Museum.

Image: AP/Press Association Images

A LIST OF the gifts presented to American President Ronald Reagan and his wife Nancy during their visit to Ireland in 1984 shows over £1,000 was spent on presents.

The then Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald presented President Reagan with an Aran Sweater (£55.91) while his wife Nancy received a silver Tara brooch (£110.45).

The list of gifts were outlined in a Department of Foreign Affairs memo from June 1984.

Gifts list

Other gifts to the Presidential party included a copy of ‘Florilegium’ (£76.80), five Waterford Glass ashtrays (£255.55), five Donegal Design rugs (£204.05), four Avoca Rugs (£108.52) and six Cushendall Rugs totalling £181.44.

Giftwrapping paper, boxes and ribbon for the above gifts cost £43.73.

00001056 Source: Eamonn Farrell via Photocall Ireland

President Killery also presented the US President with a pair of gold cuff links (£125.79) and gave his wife a lace collar (£87.32).

00001058 Source: Eamonn Farrell via Photocall Ireland

Two years later, Ronald Reagan wrote a letter to FitzGerald thanking the Taoiseach for joining him in the White House and for his gifts, including a Waterford Crystal replica of the Statue of Liberty.

He opened by saying, “It’s always a delightful experience to observe St. Patrick’s Day with a fellow Irishman.”

Reagan Letter

He also added that the Waterford Crystal Statue of Liberty would be “displayed permanently in the Statue of Liberty Museum for all who visit there to enjoy as they commemorate this symbol of America’s precious freedom”.

Read: What did Ronald Reagan eat on his visit to Ireland?>

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