The photographs opposite are of memorabilia from the Dr Patrick Hillery Collection donated to Clare Museum in 2002 but not catalogued until early 2005.
Patrick John Hillery was born on 2 May, 1923 at Miltown Malbay, County Clare. Educated at Rockwell College and University College Dublin, he graduated as a Doctor of Medicine, following in the footsteps of his father.
In 1951, however, he entered politics and won a seat for Fianna Fáil in Clare. He held a number of government portfolios over the next three decades:
The outbreak of the troubles in Northern Ireland was one of the problems that dominated the Hillery period as Minister for External Affairs, while he was also central to Irish negotiations for entry to the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1973. Indeed, he served as Ireland’s first European Commissioner from 1973-1976.
Dr Hillery stood for the Presidential Election of 1976, following the resignation of President O’Dalaigh and was elected unopposed on 3 December 1976, serving a second term from 1983-1990. Upon the expiry of his second term, Dr Hillery retired from public life.
One of the functions of the President is to represent the people of Ireland. In doing so, the President receives foreign heads of state and makes state visits abroad. Ephemera from several state visits are included here, along with, for the first time, documents reflecting the family life of the President and his day-to-day activities. There are also some miscellaneous documents relating to his career before his Presidency and his life after he retired. Some of the material here, featured in the exhibition From There to Here: the State Visits of the Hillery Presidency.
Dr Patrick Hillery married his wife Maeve in 1955. They now divide their time between their homes in Dublin and Spanish Point.
on each image opposite