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Dr Hillery Exhibition Moved to Kilrush

Clare Champion, Friday, 30th November 2007

Part of an exhibition honouring the state visits of the Hillery Presidency has been placed on display at Kilrush Public Library. The move represents the first ever exhibition from Clare Museum to be hosted by the O'Gorman Street Library. From There To Here: The State Visits Of The Hillery Presidency has been relocated to Kilrush from The Sweeney Memorial Library in Kilkee, where it had attracted hundreds of people since it went on display in June.

"The exhibition's move to Kilrush forms part of Clare Museum's expansive outreach work programme", John Rattigan, Curator of Clare Museum, explained. "This programme is based on social inclusion and ensuring that everyone in Clare is able to celebrate Clare's rich and varied heritage", he added.

Since the summer of 2000, Clare Museum has received, in instalments, a large collection of presentations and gifts made to Dr Patrick Hillery while carrying out his public duties, during a political career which spanned from 1951-1990. John Rattigan also pointed out that the booklet, which accompanied the original exhibition, has been made available to members of the public in Kilrush.

Dr. Hillery welcomed over a dozen heads of State to Ireland during his two terms of Presidency. He also made visits abroad to address the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg (1985), accept the Robert Schumann Gold Medal in Metz (1986), attend the Bicentennial Celebrations of the French Revolution (1989) and attend the enthronements of Pope John Paul I (1978) and Pope John Paul II (1978).

Today, Dr Hillery resides in Dublin with his wife, Maeve.

From There to Here: the state visits of the Hillery Presidency is now open to the public and may be viewed at Kilrush Public Library during the following times:

Monday, Tuesday & Thursday: 10.00am to 1.30pm and 2.30pm to 5.30pm
Wednesday and Friday: 10.00am to 1.30pm and 2.30 pm to 8.00pm
Saturday: 10.00am to 2.00pm.

Patrick John Hillery was born on 2 May 1923 in Miltown Malbay and attended Miltown Malbay National School before going on to Rockwell College for his secondary education. At third level he attended University College Dublin and when he graduated, with a degree in medicine in 1947, he returned to Miltown Malbay where he worked as a doctor, like his father had done before him.

First elected at the 1951 General Election as a Fianna Fáil TD for Clare, he remained in Dáil Éireann until 1973. During this time, he served as Minister for Education (1959-1965), Minister for Industry & Commerce (1965-1966), Minister for Labour (1966-1969) and Minister for External Affairs (1969-1973). In 1973 he was appointed Ireland's first European Commissioner, serving until 1976 when he was appointed President.

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