Ex-photojournalist seeks 'hero' boy he interviewed at Ronald Reagan's Ireland visit 35 years ago

Then-US President Ronald Reagan (right) with the then-President of Ireland, Dr Patrick Hillery, during his Irish visit in June 1984.

A former photojournalist from the US who is in Ireland this week is looking to be reunited with an Irishman who he met in 1984 when he made him an honorary CNN reporter in Dublin for the visit of the then-US President Ronald Reagan.

Speaking this morning, Reggie Selma told Ryan Tubridy on RTÉ Radio 1 that he picked out a nine-year-old boy from a crowd of about 50 people who had gathered near Trinity College for a live broadcast with the then-President.

Reggie told Ryan: "As is my custom if there was time and a crowd I would try and pick a youngster out of the crowd and would make him or her an honorary CNN reporter, because you never know who you are going to inspire.

"So I saw this kid with the happiest smile and I waved him over. After I asked him how old he was, and he said nine, I said 'great, you meet the union requirements' and everybody laughed."

After setting the youngster up with mics and putting him on the box where the CNN reporter would stand, Reggie said the boy automatically did a mic check.

He said: "He was a natural. And I said 'young man, what's your name?' and he said 'Martin'."

Then Martin told Reggie "my mum named me after her hero Dr Martin Luther King Junior".

Reggie explained this morning: "Coming from the south and being a child of the civil rights movement and having this young Irish lad telling me that that was his hero."

This really touched Reggie who told Ryan that he would love to know what Martin, who would now be in his 40s, is doing.

He said: "I have this dream while I'm here, I'd love to find Martin and tell him that he is my hero as well."

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