There’s a lot more to Cathal

The Clare Champion, Friday, December 28, 2012

Artefacts and documents, belonging to a well-known local representative, which are on temporary exhibition at Clare Museum, has led to a call for others to also loan items of special interest.

The inspiration for this initiative has been the on-going exhibition from a primary school teacher and councillor from Meelick. It shows a different side to Cathal Crowe who has been an avid collector of political ephemera for a number of years.

Cathal was first introduced to collecting by his father, who is an enthusiastic collector of folklife material, including old radios and farming tools. He began to collect himself while a student of history and politics at the University of Limerick. It began by accident initially, as friends and acquaintances that knew of his interest in both history and politics gave him old documents and leaflets of a political nature. Before long, he found himself buying items and actively enhancing the collection.

Cathal’s collection of political ephemera has been on display for a number of months at the museum. It includes Fianna Fáil-related documents, old newspapers, pamphlets political postcards and some items dating back to the Home Rule campaign of a century ago. It is a snapshot of Cathal’s ongoing hobby.

The museum’s recent exhibition representing the wartime stories of Clare people also comprises items from a private collector, including part of a uniform of an officer of the Royal Munster Fusiliers.

‘It has become obvious that the museum is in an ideal position to facilitate exhibitions from local private collectors. The museum can provide a secure environment to bring to a wider audience collections of items that individuals have built up over lifetimes and it would have local appeal,’ according to museum curator, John Rattigan.

The initiative would also suit collectors of coins, stamps, bottles and toys and it is intended to initially create a list of interested collectors which would allow for a diverse series of exhibitions.

Anyone interested in becoming involved should contact Clare Museum at 065-6823382.

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