Friday 22 September 2017

Historic Pearse letter set to fetch €1.5m - and could leave Irish shores

James O’Halloran of Adam’s auctioneers with the final surrender letter by Pádraig Pearse. Photo: Fergal Phillips
James O’Halloran of Adam’s auctioneers with the final surrender letter by Pádraig Pearse. Photo: Fergal Phillips

A letter penned by Pádraig Pearse calling for the 1916 rebels to put down their arms is expected to fetch up to €1.5m when it goes to auction this week.

But according to the managing director of Adam's auctioneers, James O'Halloran, there was a high chance it could leave Irish shores.

"We've had a considerable amount of interest, particularly from abroad, so we're concerned about that. It's a pity," he said.

"If it doesn't sell it's in all likelihood going to leave Ireland."

The auctioneers believe the letter is destined to leave Ireland due to the high level of international interest Picture: Fergal Phillips
The auctioneers believe the letter is destined to leave Ireland due to the high level of international interest Picture: Fergal Phillips

The State decided not to intervene in attempting to buy the letter, which was signed and dated April 30, 1916.

The letter's current owner bought it for €800,000 in 2005.

Adam's auctioneers valued it at between €50,000 and €80,000 back then. The Irish State made a counter offer of €10,000.

It eventually sold for 10 times what it was originally valued at, and the State went as high as €350,000 to get the important historical letter - before being outbid by its current owner.

Irish Independent

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