Mayo is home to a unique historical collection

The Jackie Clarke Collection is located in Ballina and is home to more than 100,000 maps, rare newspapers, political posters, editorial cartoons, photographs and films. It has been rightly lauded as the most important private collection of Irish history material in public hands. 

The exhibits include:

  •  A 1916 letter from the commander of Kilmainham Jail asking Father Aloysius to visit Patrick  Pearse before his execution,
  •  A 1910 poster advertising a talk by James Connolly in New York,
  •  A cockade worn by Wolfe Tone when he was captured in 1798.

There are other materials relating to the 1916 Easter Rising, as well as documents relating to the Land League, the War of Independence, the Civil War and the 1980s Hunger Strikes.

This is genuine hidden history – an entirely new display of primary sources, many assumed to be lost. Instead they were gathered by indefatigable collector Jackie Clarke (1927-2000) owner of Clarke’s Salmon Smokery which stands two streets away from the museum. 

In 2005 Jackie Clarke’s widow, Anne, donated the collection to the people of Ballina.

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