CLONAKILTY’S Michael Collins House is celebrating its three-year-anniversary with the opening of the museum’s first major exhibition.
The War of Independence exhibition is curated by museum manager Jamie Murphy and will feature several fascinating exhibits that will be displayed for the first time in West Cork.
‘This is the first major exhibition here since we opened three years ago, apart from our normal house tour,’ said Jamie.
‘We really wanted to commemorate the centenary of the War of Independence in West Cork because this area was so central to those events.
Tom Hales’ rifle, a typewriter on which Tom Barry wrote Guerrilla Days in Ireland and Tom Barry’s revolver and his war medals are all on loan from Cork Public Museum.
The exhibition details the conflict in West Cork from the perspective of the leadership at the time, those involved in the conflict on both sides and the experience of ordinary people and how the conflict affected everyday
life in West Cork.
‘The main aim for Michael Collins House as always is accessibility,’ said Jamie, ‘so in this exhibition, anybody who comes in will gain some knowledge from it from somebody who is very young, or with no prior knowledge, all the way up to a fully fledged historian.’
The museum has experienced continued growth in visitor numbers since its opening in 2016, and Jamie hopes this new exhibition will see those numbers climb even further.
‘The museum has welcomed 30,000 visitors since opening and this year the visitor numbers are already very positive and we are expecting to have our best year to date,; said Jamie.
They offer a guided tour of the house, taking the visitor through Michael Collins’ life story and putting his life into context in West Cork and Ireland at that time. The new exhibition is also included in the tour.
As well as the life of Michael Collins, the museum also features exhibits relating to Tadhg an Astna who led the local forces into battle in 1798 and the unrepentant Fenian, Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa, both of whom influenced the young Collins.
For more see www.michaelcollinshouse.ie.