“I was looking through my father’s medals. They were just sitting in drawers and when I go I know there is no-one who would take a huge interest in them. Also I didn’t want them going to the museums in Dublin, so I contacted Brian Walsh and now they are to be the starting point for this huge 1916 exhibition, which is excellent.”
He is encouraging everyone who has something from that period in history to contact the museum: “If they think about it almost anyone may have a connection to 1916. Have a look in the attic or under the stairs and see what you can find. You could be very surprised. I didn’t know anything about my father until I started looking into it.
“It is fantastic that in the run up to and during 2016 their memories will be kept alive with this exhibition.”
Museum Curator Brian Walsh said he was amazed by Kevin’s father’s life story: “Here is someone who has played a central role in the 1916 rising. He is standing alongside Countess Markievicz, he sang The Soldier’s Song years before it became Amhrán na bhFiann-The National Anthem. He was with the leaders of the 1916 Rising in the GPO and he was OC of Kevin Barry who he named his own son after.
“It’s simply fascinating but similar stories could be held in boxes in attics, sheds and cupboards all over Ireland and beyond.
“A great number of Dundalk and Louth people were involved in The Easter Rising and we would love anyone who has information on these people to share it with us in the Museum for our centenary exhibition,” added Brian Walsh.
Anyone who would like to donate items or share any information they have for the exhibition can contact Brian Walsh, Curator at the County Museum Dundalk at 042 9327056 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.