Sunday 4 December 2016

Man who damaged Monet used rare stolen books 'to decorate home'

Declan Brennan

Published 03/02/2016 | 02:30

Andrew Shannon was jailed for damaging the Monet painting. Pic: Courtpix
Andrew Shannon was jailed for damaging the Monet painting. Pic: Courtpix

A man previously jailed for damaging a €10m Monet painting has been found guilty of possessing 67 stolen antique books, including an extremely rare King James Bible.

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Andrew Shannon (51) was accused of illegally handling the books which originated in the library of Carton House in Kildare, the historical family seat of the FitzGerald family.

The books - including a 1660 edition of the King James Bible of which only six exist - went missing after they were put in storage during the restoration of the country house.

Gardaí say they were later found in Shannon's house during a search. Shannon told investigators that he bought the books at a fair or feté for about Ir£300 and was using them to decorate his house.

Shannon, of Willans Way, Ongar, Dublin, pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of the books at his home while knowing or being reckless as to whether they were stolen on March 3, 2007. After a five-day trial the jury returned a unanimous verdict of guilty.

Under the new EU directive on victims, transposed into Irish law last November, Judge Petria McDonnell invited the owners of Carton House to provide a victim impact report for the sentence hearing next April.

Shannon is on bail on this matter and was remanded on the same conditions. He is currently in prison after being convicted in 2014 of criminal damage to a €10m Monet painting at the National Gallery of Ireland on Clare Street on June 29, 2012.

Irish Independent

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