Wednesday 21 August 2019

Political fan's collection of 50,000 posters and leaflets is 40 years in the making


Poster boy: Alan Kinsella with a couple of his collector’s pieces
Poster boy: Alan Kinsella with a couple of his collector’s pieces
Denise Calnan

Denise Calnan

Most 12-year-olds in the early 1980s collected stamps, badges or stickers. But for Alan Kinsella it was election leaflets and posters that piqued his interest.

Now, almost 40 years later, the Dublin man can proudly claim to have amassed a 50,000-strong collection of election leaflets, hundreds of posters and badges.

"I was 12 and went to the polling station with my parents in 1982," said Alan. "There would have been people canvassing outside the polling stations back then. Barry Desmond was one of the local TDs. He signed his leaflet, 'To Alan, best of luck, Barry.' I kept it and that's where it started.

"My aunties, granddad and classmates in school brought me more leaflets. I would just keep stuff and pile it up."

Three general elections within 18 months and two referendums in the couple of years after meant his collection grew quickly.

Now the IT professional lives in Rathfarnham and runs the Irish Election Literature blog and regularly hosts exhibitions of his material at political events.

"Most of it is in the attic, but I have an office where I keep it as well. Otherwise it could take over the house."

Irish Independent

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