In the North Mayo town of Ballina, the local businessman Jackie Clarke was an avid collector of Irish historical material comprising over 100,000 items spanning 400 years. It contains several proclamations, newspapers hunger strike material and personal items from Leaders of the 1916 Rising.
The 1916 Easter Rising
In the midst of the Great War a small group of rebels took a stand against the British Empire by occupying the General Post Office in Dublin on Easter Sunday 1916. After over 800 years of British colonial rule and failed home rule attempts, insurgents of Sinn Fein ('we ourselves') proclaimed the 'Irish Republic'. Dublin became for a short time a 'second front'.
The First World War was triggered by the killing of Archduke Franz Ferdinand by a Serbian freedom fighter or terrorist, depending from which perspective you look at it. The War would see the collapse of empires and the rise of independent nation states. Ireland would eventually be one of them.
The leaders of 1916 were arrested and executed. For the ruling class they were considered as terrorists, for the Irish population freedom fighters.
The Leaders of the 1916 Rising.
2016 is the centenary of the 1916 rising and throughout the country events and exhibitions are organised to commemorate this turning point in the history of Ireland.
The Jackie Clarke Collection in Ballina has a substantial collection of documents, letters, posters, prints and newspapers relating to the 1916 rising. Many of these are being prepared for the upcoming commemorative exhibition.