2 December 2004 Edition

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Valuable republican manuscripts under the hammer

While not wanting to add to the coffers of auctioneers, I'd draw attention to the forthcoming auction by Mealy's Auctioneers on Tuesday and Wednesday, 7/8 December. I do so in the hope that when the hammer is brought down on an array of republican memorabilia from the revolutionary years after the founding of Sinn Féin 100 years ago, that they will have found an appreciative home. Failing this, they will be lost forever to future Irish generations of republicans.

Sinn Féin election handbills from 1916, republican and nationalist newspapers from 1912 to 1922, including War News from the republican garrison in the Four Courts in June/July 1922; and issues of James Connolly's Workers' Republic are among the vast store of historical material at auction in Dublin next week.

Mealy's catalogue (www.mealys.com) lists among its many entries; a Thomas Ashe memorial card; a first edition of a Pádraig Mac Piarais book; Thomas McDonagh's poems; an Irish National Aid and Volunteers' Dependants Fund aeridheacht programme for 1917; a photo showing The Proclamation of the Irish Republic being removed from 86 Stephen's Green during the Rising in 1916; the handwritten statements of the IRA's 3rd Cork Battalion Flying Column to the IRA's Director of Propaganda concerning the Kilmichael and Crossbarry Ambush; republican ballad sheets; and election leaflets for Joe McGuinness' South Longford by-election campaign in 1917.

These items and many more would sit well in local museums, or in the many private/public collections of republican material; they could just the same be framed and raffled to raise funds for the Sinn Féin centenary celebrations next year. Though the auctioneers have set reasonably low guidance prices for a lot of the items, only a few of them would be accessible pricewise as Christmas presents

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1