Preserving circus memorabilia for posterity.
I was fascinated by the way these people came to town... I never missed a circus in all my life.
A collection of circus memorabilia including posters, postcards, photographs and models, was the subject of this RTÉ News report by Conor Fennell in 1985.
Pat Houlihan (1918-2010) from Killorglin, Co. Kerry spoke to Conor Fennell about his collection of carved wooden circus models and posters, and his memories of the circus.
His collection, which includes circus, pantomime and Puck Fair memorabilia, is displayed in the basement of his house, which he built himself.
Patrick tells of his fascination with how the circus people came to town and set up in a green field. He admires the skills of the circus workers, from the wire walking of the trapeze artists, to the clowns, and the contortionists. A retired carpenter, Pat now spends his time using his skills to create miniature circus figures to add to his collection and for posterity.
The hey day of the circus was between the two world wars.
Pat has been collecting circus memorabilia all his life, with posters from all over the world.
In 2008, the Trustees of Muckross House, as part of their Outreach Programme, began cataloguing, digitising and conserving this vast collection.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 9 April 1985.
Wooden Model of Circus Arriving in Town