Saturday 29 November 2014

Enda Kenny steps back in time to examine 'DNA of politics'

Published 25/03/2014 | 02:30

Enda Kenny inspects a poster from a collection of political  ephemera on display at the National Print Museum
Enda Kenny inspects a poster from a collection of political ephemera on display at the National Print Museum
An exhibit in the Political Ephemera Exhibition in the National Print Museum.
An exhibit in the Political Ephemera Exhibition in the National Print Museum.
An exhibit in the Political Ephemera Exhibition in the National Print Museum.
An exhibit in the Political Ephemera Exhibition in the National Print Museum.
An exhibit in the Political Ephemera Exhibition in the National Print Museum.

Where else might you find a Mary Robinson sweatshirt or an Alan Shatter tennis ball?

A collection of political ephemera including pamphlets, keyrings, badges and posters are all on display as part of the National Print Museum's latest exhibition 'What You Maybe Meant To Keep'.

IT expert Alan Kinsella began collecting political brochures back in February 1982 and has amassed more than 8,000 pamphlets as well as several of the multi-coloured 'Shatter balls'.

"It's been a pet project of mine for years. I wanted to find a place to put all those bits of paper people throw in the bin or forget to keep," Mr Kinsella said.

"By having all these pieces of ephemera on display we can stitch together a tapestry of the past through colourful, and sometimes outrageous, prints and pamphlets.

"You can see the personalities and parties that have shaped the political landscape in Ireland."

Taoiseach Enda Kenny, who launched the exhibition last night, said: "These scraps of paper are a reflection of our memories and our history. And a testimony to the people who put themselves forward to fight for what they believe in and were judged by the people as they should be.

"The value of a collection like this cannot be underestimated.

"It takes a massive amount of time and dedication to put an exhibition like this together. All this paraphernalia is the DNA of politics."

The exhibition runs till May 27.

Irish Independent

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