Balbriggan Historical Society Presented with Items of Dramatic Historical Significance

September 22, 2014 0

Balbriggan & District Historical Society were delighted to meet with a fascinating and entertaining man all the way from the USA recently. Mike Clinch had previously lived in the town for a brief period and his father Johnny Clinch was a notable figure in the Balbriggan Branch of the Volunteers – ‘Oglaigh na hEireann’.

balbriggan_historical_societyAt a reception the Society met with Mike and several of his extended family – some of whom had travelled from Liverpool (and a lot of whom are still living locally in Balbriggan).

During the War of Independence in Ireland in the early 1920’s Johnny Clinch paid the ‘dues’ or ‘Affiliation Fee’ for the local branch of Balbriggan Volunteers to the central headquarters and while rummaging in his family archives at home Mike found a fascinating piece of history. The item is a receipt for the Affiliation fee for Balbriggan Branch and it is signed by none other than Michael Collins!

Chairman Brian Howley commented:

‘We are delighted to have secured this item of significant historic memorabilia and this will be carefully maintained and catalogued along with all of the other items of interest gathered over the last 30 years. These items are maintained and stored in eager readiness for the day when we do eventually get our well deserved Balbriggan Museum.

We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Mike and his family for their kindness and we are very aware that they like us cherish the past. We are also very proud to be involved with the Balbriggan Dramatic Society who will stage the play ‘Michael Collins’ Messenger’ by Paddy Boyle written on the theme of Johnny Clinch in Balbriggan – Paddy is actually a cousin of Mike Clinch and we wish them all well with the play”