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Dev's thank-you letter under hammer for €991

A DUBLINER yesterday paid almost €1,000 for a letter by former Taoiseach Eamon de Valera thanking a family for their help on the night guns were famously brought into Howth aboard the Asgard, writes Patricia McDonagh.

The letter, dated March 27, 1947, and written on Department of the Taoiseach paper, was sent to a Mrs D Collins in Santry, to express condolences on the death of her mother.

It was sold by Mrs Collins's heirs, and fetched €991 at auction. In the letter, de Valera recalled that Ms Collins's mother made tea for him and his colleagues on the evening of the Howth gun-running in 1914.

He expressed regret at not calling to see her mother "to tell her how much I appreciated her kindness on that evening".

He was a member of the Irish Volunteers who smuggled in a shipment of arms from Germany. The guns were subsequently used in the 1916 Rising.

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