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The Walton Collection

Thomas Clarke- 1916 Poster

Thomas Clarke- 1916 Poster

Thomas James Clarke 1916 commemorative poster.

Thomas J. Clarke (Irish: Tomás Séamus Ó Cléirigh; (11 March 1858 – 3 May 1916) was an Irish republican and a leader of the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) sitting in the key position of treasurer. Clarke was arguably the person most responsible for the 1916 Easter Rising having being behind bringing Pearse and other key members, like Sean MacDiarmada , who favoured armed insurrection, on to the Supreme Council of the IRB .

A proponent of armed struggle against British rule in Ireland for most of his life, Clarke was a native of Dungannon from the age of 10 following his father's (and family's) return from military service as a cavalry officer in South Africa. He left for America in 1881 where he joined Clan-na-Gael returning in 1883 to England on a special mission where he was arrested. under the false name of "Norman Wilson", on explosive charges , otherwise known as "The Fenian Dynamite Plot", and sentenced to penal servitude for life, serving over 15 years in English prisons between 1883 and 1898 where he was subject to "special treatment" along with several other consipirators.

 His remarkable recollections of his appalling time prison life were captured in his Glimpses of an Irish Felon's Prison Life which were serialised in the Newspaper Irish Freedom which he established in 1910, appointing Seán MacDiarmada as general manager, with financial support from John Daly (the also executed 'Ned' Daly's father) , and Clarke's strong connections with the Irish separatist movement in America, where he was a close confident of John Devoy.He went to America again in 1899 and returned to Dublin in 1907 where he went into business as a tobacconist and newsagent, from where he masterminded the IRB's infiltration of key positions of the Gaelic League, and GAA, Sinn Féin and ultimately the Irish Volunteers. My grandfather , Martin Walton, met him a number of times in his shop on Parmell Street with his own father as a young boy of thirteen, and described him as the greatest Irish Revolutionary of the 20th Century. Clarke's remarkable life has also been wonderfully captured in a fabulous biography, The Life of Tom Clarke, written and published in 1935 by Louis N. Le Roux.   

 He was, at the insistence of the other signatories, the first signatory to the Proclamation of the Irish Republic and was executed in Kilmainham Jail on the 3rd May 1916, aged 59 years. This poster has been created using a high quality photograph of Clarke ( most likely Lafayette)  and the text beneath it simply states "THOMAS J. CLARKE, Executed, May 3rd, 1916".

This is a fabulous and unique image of this extraordinary man recreated in the style of the original 1916 Leader's posters. The image of Clarke is taken from a photo in the Walton Collection ( where some correspondence to Clarke and two of his busines cards (see Home page image)  were found and the poster is printed on 210 gsm satin art paper , beautifully mounted on a mottled green suede background and set behind glass in a handmade, aged dark mahogany finish frame with a gold gilt sightline.

Regular price €395,00 EUR
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All prints and frames are Made in Ireland. Price includes VAT.

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