The Jackie Clarke Collection | Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday 10am - 5pm | Free Admission

Tintown Autograph Collection

The Tintown Autograph Book contains signatures, drawings, slogans etc. of Republican Prisoners interned during the Civil War.

Scribbled as historic events unfolded, they embrace an urgency which surely disavows any hint of falsehood.  Pencilled with honest bitterness and purity, they are laced with searing disappointment, as the notable exception – Mansion House votes on The Treaty recorded as they were cast, confirms.

Quotes were copied: encouragement from leaders turned heroes – PH Pearse, Terence MacSwiney, CS Parnell, even Mitchel’s writings from the Great Hunger were noted in these little books, some of which were handmade – sewn together with rough thread in darkened cells.  They are Remembrance personified: every autograph entered becomes a name and details saved.  Each autograph-book speaks uniquely for itself – whispering our history anew whilst moving modern readers.

Leafing through the wonderfully informative Tintown civil war autograph book throws up several items of interest.  Perhaps the first being the likely presence of Ernie O’Malley’s brother Cecil Patrick.  Ernie rightly receives much attention for his part in our centenary history.  Cecil would not be quite as well-known as his renowned older brother, yet he has secured a further place in Irish history by autographing this little book.  Cecil had also been held in Kilmainham Prison – a fact he proved personally, yet again, by writing his name on a cell wall in the old West Wing.  That inscription by the late 20th century was faded, but legible.  The prisoners themselves left us undeniable clues as to their whereabouts when frequently imperfect prison-lists failed them.

IL Conte (Count) Seoirse (George) Noble Plunkett TD’s autograph invites much reflection.  The father of Joseph Plunkett (one of the 1916 executed Leaders) now himself imprisoned.  By fellow Irishmen.  His very name in this precious book becomes a moving and visible reminder of the suffering our country endured in those days.

Another TD, the poet and writer Brian Ó hUiginn,  signs the book twice.  We then find a fellow prisoner dedicating an entire page of the little book with reference to a popular song written by Brian himself; The Soldiers of Cumann na mBan.  This is an excellent example of the esteem and loyalty shared amongst themselves by these political prisoners.

(Niamh O’Sullivan – Volunteer Programme – August 2022)

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Image07Diarmuido-Briain8-July-1923MitchelstownCork
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Image18--19JoeHarrington18-October-1920andTSMcCarrick10-October-1923TubbercurrySligo
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Image23eamon-o-Domhnaill9-July-1923Armagh
Image24Michel-Mac-an-tSaoir8-July-1923Liverpool
Image25--26AS-o-Maolin18-October-1923andMichaelWaters12-July-1923CrossmolinaMayo
Image27--28Domhnaill-U-Chonchobair1923andEamon8-July-1923andSean8-July-1923andPadraig9-July-1923
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Image36--37Cathal-o-Frighil9-October-1923andFrankStack16-July-1923Glasgow
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Image41--42eamonn-o-PeadhairandP-o-Mille18-October-1923
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Image50Conchobhair-U-Laoghaire9-July-1923Cork
Image51--52PatrickClarke9-October-1923andThomasBurke9-October-1923
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Tours

Specialist tours can be booked in advance by emailing clarkecollection@mayococo.ie or by phoning (096) 73508.

Contact

The Jackie Clarke Collection
Pearse Street, Ballina, Co. Mayo, Ireland

T: + 353 (0)96 73508
W: www.clarkecollection.ie
E: clarkecollection@mayococo.ie

Opening Times

Tuesday to Saturday: 10am to 5pm
Entrance is located at the side of the building on Walsh Street.

 

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