Thursday 30 March 2017

Rare Famine letters donated for research

Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

A rare collection of hand-written letters giving a remarkable insight into the impact of the Famine will remain in Ireland.

It emerged last night the collection will be donated to an archive and made available for academic research.

The documents were due to go under the hammer today but Adams Auctioneers, which was organising the sale, said they were to be kept together.

The letters came from a private collector and had originally been found in the archives of Dublin law firm Stewart and Kincaid, which acted as agents for landlords on a large scale.

Stuart Cole, Adams director, would not be drawn on which archive was to receive the documents, but he said: "The good news is they're not going to be split up, they're not leaving the country and they're going to be kept together as a single collection. They will be available here in Ireland for academic research."

The letters give detailed accounts of the Famine from struggling tenants as well as landlords. It had been suggested they should be donated to, or purchased by, the State given their historical significance.

Irish Independent

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