How would you like to have a family heirloom retained and exhibited for posterity? Your local 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. Clare Museum, which is located just off the O’Connell Monument in Ennis, is looking for items relating to the 1917 East Clare by-election in particular, Ardnacrusha Power Station on the ESB’s 90th anniversary, Shannon Airport and Free Zone on the 100th anniversary of the birth of Dr. Brendan O’Regan, and Clare participants in the Spanish Civil War.

Curator John Rattigan explains, “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 items relating to the 1917 by-election or the hunger strikes of that year. Centenaries of both will be marked during 2017.

“This year is also the centenary of Dr. Brendan O’Regan’s birth in Sixmilebridge, the man responsible for Shannon Airport, the Free Zone, duty free shopping 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.”

The museum is also looking for items recalling Clare men in the Spanish Civil War which was fought 80 years ago. Items from more recent decades are also required. John Rattigan said, “An ongoing survey of visitors has highlighted an interest in items from the 1950s to the turn of the century which many remember and would like to show their children or grandchildren. Items of interest such as objects or promotional material relating to local businesses or relating to childhood such as toys, games and school in times past would also be welcome.”

Mr Rattigan pointed out that the profile of the county has changed in recent years, now a large number of people here have roots or a cultural connection to other European, Asian or African countries. He said, “It is important to represent them. Items and ephemera reflecting the lives in Clare of these immigrant communities would also be welcome.” Clare Museum’s collection policy is available on its website if anyone is interested in donating. Further information from curator, John Rattigan, at 065-6823383 or at claremuseum@clarecoco.ie.