Wednesday 17 January 2018

Hedge cutter's shock as he finds three valuable paintings which were stolen in a burglary last year

A Portrait of a Lady by Sir John Lavery
A Portrait of a Lady by Sir John Lavery
Landscape with Cottage by Paul Henry
The Fern in the Area by Jack B Yeats

Cormac Fitzgerald

Gardaí have recovered three famous paintings stolen in the course of a burglary last year.

The world-renowned paintings are by Sir. John Lavery, Paul Henry and Jack B. Yeats.

The paintings are "Portrait of a Lady" by Sir John Lavery, "Landscape with Cottage" by Paul Henry, and "The Fern in the Area" by Jack B.Yeats.

Denis Russell was cutting his hedge near Baltinglass when he uncovered the paintings in a black sack this afternoon.

“I saw a black rubbish bag in a ditch... and I pulled it out and lo and behold out fell four works of art,” Mr Russell told RTE’s Drivetime.

“I got a bit of a shock when they fell out… and carefully as I could I took them up to the house and laid them on the table,” he said.

“They looked in reasonable condition, I’d say the restorers won’t have a problem with them.”

Gardai say no arrests have been made and investigations are continuing.

The paintings have been taken to Garda Headquarters for examination.

The burglary took place on the evening of Wednesday, October 22, 2014.

It wasn't until Thursday, October 23, that the theft came to light when a neighbour of the Donard home realised the house had been broken into.

Gardai described the paintings as "extremely valuable" at the time.

"Any art expert worth their salt would recognise the paintings immediately. We suspect the culprits knew the paintings were located at the house as nothing else was stolen," a spokesperson said.

“It’s only a seven or eight minute drive from my house to where I found them,” said Mr Russell

“Maybe there was a garda car on the road and they panicked and hid them in a ditch… or something like that.”

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