Michael's Collins Grand Nephew Calls For Reinstatement of His Cap in Collins Barracks Exhibition
Claire was joined by Grand Nephew of Michael Collins Robert Pierse this afternoon.
The decision of The National Museum to withdraw from public exhibition, the uniform hat worn by Michael Collins when he was shot dead at Béal na Bláth was featured in an article in the Irish Independent this morning .
The museum said the decision was taken because a hole in the garment caused by the fatal bullet could cause upset to the descendants of General Collins and the decision was based on 'modern museum ethics’.
The cap is no longer on display and one of the reasons is due to the sensitivity of General Collins' blood and organic matter on the object which is an integral part of the artefact itself. Which could be seen as something potentially upsetting for observers at the museum.
The Irish Museums Association provided a statement to Newstalk:
[12:34] JJ Clarke
Statement from the National Museum of Ireland
The cap that Michael Collins was wearing at the time of his death at Béal na Bláth was on display in the National Museum of Ireland's Kildare Street site from 1991 until 2005 as part of the Road to Independence exhibition. At that time, the 1916 exhibition was re-launched in Collins Barracks. The cap has not been on public display since then primarily because of conservation concerns, and also in line with best international museum practice on the display of objects with human remains. Any member of the public is very welcome to make an appointment to see the cap or indeed any object in storage in the collections of the National Museum of Ireland, when the Museum reopens.
The greatcoat that Michael Collins was wearing at the time of his death at Béal na Bláth is prominently displayed in Collins Barracks, along with a detailed narrative about the reality of that pivotal event in our country's history. His death mask and several other key objects associated with his life also feature in this exhibition.
We have noted the comments by relatives of Michael Collins in the media and we would like to invite them to contact the Museum directly to discuss this matter. We are always open to discussing our exhibitions, and in particular with people who have a family connection to the objects in our collection.