Clare Museum is seeking donations to expand its collections and to achieve greater representation of the lives of people in Clare for future generations to enjoy.
The Ennis-based Museum is particularly looking for items relating to the 1917 East Clare by-election which began Eamon de Valera’s career representing the people of Clare, Ardnacrusha Power Station on the 90th anniversary of the founding of the ESB, Shannon Airport and the Free Zone on the 100th anniversary of the birth of Dr. Brendan O’Regan, and Clare participants in the Spanish Civil War.
According to Museum Curator John Rattigan, “Clare Museum collects items that exist in or relate to Clare. Our collection is our greatest resource as it underpins exhibitions and educational activities.”
“Last year we successfully collected information technology items. This year we are particularly interested in any items relating to the 1917 by-election or the hunger strikes of that year. The centenaries for both will be commemorated during 2017,” said Mr. Rattigan.
“This year also marks the centenary of the birth Dr. Brendan O’Regan in Sixmilebridge, the man responsible for the development of Shannon Airport, the Industrial zone and heritage tourism in Ireland. Any items relating to the story of these iconic developments in the county would be welcome additions to the collection,” he added.
The Museum is also seeking items that tell something of the experience of Clare men in the Spanish Civil War which was being fought 80 years ago. However, items from more recent decades are also required.
“An ongoing survey of museum visitors has highlighted an interest in items from the 1950s to the turn of the century which many of our visitors remember and which they would like to show their children or grandchildren. Items of interest such as objects or promotional material relating to local businesses from times gone by or items relating to childhood such as toys, games and school in times past would also be welcome,” said Mr. Rattigan.
He added that the Museum is keen to be representative of local communities often overlooked by museums, including objects relating to the everyday lives of women, the traveling community, immigrants, and people with a disability.
“The profile of the County has changed in recent years, and now a large number of people in Clare come from, or have a cultural connection to, other European, Asian or African countries,” stated Mr. Rattigan. “It is important to represent them. Items and ephemera reflecting the lives in Clare of these immigrant communities would also be welcome.”