The photographs opposite are of memorabilia from the Dr Patrick Hillery Collection, donated to Clare Museum during the period April - June 2002.
Patrick John Hillery was born on 2 May, 1923 at Miltown Malbay Co Clare. Educated at Rockwell College and University College Dublin, he graduated as a Doctor of Medicine, following in the footsteps of his father.
In 1951, however, he entered politics winning a seat for Fianna Fáil in Clare. He held a number of government portfolios over the next three decades:
The outbreak of the troubles in Northern Ireland was one of the problems that dominated the Hillery period as Minister for External Affairs, while he was also central to Irish negotiations for entry to the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1973. Indeed, he served as Ireland's first European Commissioner from 1973-1976.
Dr Hillery stood for the Presidential Election of 1976, following the resignation of President O'Dalaigh and was elected unopposed on 3 December 1976, serving a second term from 1983-1990. Upon the expiry of his second term, Dr Hillery retired from public life.
One of the functions of the President is to represent the people of Ireland. In doing so, the President receives foreign heads of state and makes state visits abroad. Another function is to acknowledge the value of community and self-help groups, by opening community halls and attending functions.
Both of these duties are reflected in this collection of memorabilia, the bulk of which was presented to Dr Hillery at functions while serving as President of Ireland.
Dr Patrick Hillery married his wife Maeve in 1955. They now divide their time between their homes in Dublin and Spanish Point.
on each image opposite