The Taoiseach Enda Kenny officially opened a new museum housing the Jackie Clarke Collection in the former Provincial Bank Building in Pearse Street, Ballina, on Saturday 15th June 2013, in the presence of local luminaries including the former President of Ireland Mary Robinson and her husband Nick.
The collection is the largest private archive of materials relating to Ireland’s 400 year freedom struggle. It comprises over 100,000 items include rare books, films, proclamations, posters, political cartoons, pamphlets, handbills, paintings, maps, Republican material and the personal items of famous patriots. The collection was donated to the people of Mayo by Jackie Clarke’s wife Ann. Mayo County Council now host what’s considered an invaluable historical archive of worldwide interest.
Loretta Clarke, who was a political activist like her brother Jackie, made an impassioned speech about her brother’s life and legacy, and the wealth of material now available for the public to enjoy. She emphasized that the collection sets out all the various viewpoints, and it’s up to the visitor to interpret the content.
Martello were the interpretative, and the interior fit-out designers for the entire museum, responsible for detailing everything from the Victorian style fitted units in the Rare Books Room to the ultra modern look of the Memory Gallery and recoding studio. The museum has separate galleries for books, posters, prints, newspapers, films, maps and temporary exhibits. But the heart of the museum is Ireland’s Memory, a gallery of key treasures from all periods, including a rare original Proclamation of the Irish Republic from the 1916 Rising, presented in the former Bank strongroom, along with a recording of Stephen Rea reading it. Martello also produced all of the audiovisual and interactive content in the museum.
Enjoy our video of the project on our YouTube Channel.