Museum Given 1800s Bank Notes

Irish Times, May 12, 2001

A series of 19th century bank notes with Ennis connections has been presented to the Clare museum by the pharmaceutical company Roche Ireland. The museum Curator, Mr. John Rattigan, said the three bank notes, dating from the early 1800s, were "promise to pay" notes, precursors to conventional paper money. They were purchased from the Dublin auctioneering company Whytes. One of the notes, for a guinea, states that it is payment in the name of Peter Blake of Ennis Tan Yard to Henery McDonnell and is witnessed by Thomas Kennedy. Another, for £1, is also witnessed by Thomas Kennedy, while the third is an updated £1 specimen note. The purchasers, based in Clarecastle outside Ennis, are part of the Swiss-based Roche Corporation and employ 250 people.

Mr. John Liddy, Managing Director at the plant, said the presentation was made to prompt others to donate artefacts and draw attention to the seven month old museum. "It does not have a very high profile in the community, and something like this might help to raise that profile ", he said. Mr. Rattigan said the notes represented aspects of Ennis commercial life including the long tradition of the tan yards. "There were four in Ennis at one time", he said. The Ennis museum, run by the local authority, will display the notes in a "recent acquisitions" case. "We recently acquired second World War service medals from Teresa Carter, whose aunt, Josephine Canny from Mountshannon, Co. Clare, was a nurse in the Red Cross" , Mr. Rattigan said. "She was awarded a Red Cross gold medal, the only one ever given to an Irish person".

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