Above: Cllr. John Paul O'Shea, Mayor of the County of Cork unveils a plaque to mark the official opening of the Michael Collins Museum in Clonakilty. Also included (left to right): Justin England, Cork County Council, Clodagh Henehan, Divisional Manager (West) Cork County Council, Cllr. Christopher O'Sullivan, Eileen Quill, great grand-daughter of Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa, Helen Collins, grand niece of Michael Collins, Tim Lucey, Chief Executive, Cork County Council, Billy Houlihan and Mary Ryan, Director of Services, Cork County Council. Photo: Martin Walsh.
The much-anticipated Michael Collins House Museum was officially opened in Clonakilty on Sunday, April 23, by the Mayor of Cork County John Paul O’Shea. The council started restoring the house on Emmet Square in 2014.
Helen Collins, grandniece of Michael Collins was the master of ceremonies for the day. Helen was joined on the events stage by Eileen Quill, great grand-daughter of Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa, Tim Lucey, Chief Executive, CCC, Billy Houlihan, Mary Ryan, Director of Services, CCC, Clodagh Henehan, Divisional Manager (West) CCC and Justin England, West Cork Municipal Officer CCC.
Helen Collins shared stories of the Collins family and there were musical interludes performed by children from the area. The Mayor then proceeded to unveil a plaque to declare the museum officially open to great applause from the gathered crowd.
The Michael Collins House Museum will tell the story of the struggle for independence in Ireland from 1798 to 1922. The story is told with a focus on three local patriots, Tadgh an Asna and the 1798 rebellion, Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa over the late nineteenth century and of course Michael Collins, covering the war of Independence and the Irish Civil War.
Speaking at the opening Cork County Mayor, John Paul O’Shea said “The Michael Collins museum portrays our shared history in a unique fashion. It transports the visitor to that time, 100 years ago. It brings to life living at the turn of the century. The house is as it was then. It transports us to the past. Living and breathing this experience is what makes our history real and relatable. We understand and become familiar with life and the pursuits that have shaped our history.”
The Museum is now open at weekends and extended opening times will begin soon.