Man held over €80,000 theft of National Library books
GARDAI have recovered a haul of valuable books and pamphlets that had been stolen from the National Library of Ireland over the past couple of years.
Officers from the arts and antiques unit of the national bureau of criminal investigation made the seizure after they raided a house at Porters Gate in Clonsilla, west Dublin, at 6.30am yesterday. They arrested a man, an employee of the library, and brought him to Lucan garda station.
Gardai recovered 250 books, including some known as the Sean O'Casey collection, which was acquired by the library more than a decade ago. The collection included some of O'Casey's works as well as signed original works presented to him by other authors.
A quantity of pamphlets and documents relating to 1916 were also recovered during the garda search of the house, and some of these are regarded as being of significant historical value.
The haul was reckoned initially to be worth around €80,000, but last night informed sources described that estimate as conservative.
Gardai believe the books had been stolen from the National Library over a lengthy period, possibly going back two years. But their disappearance was not spotted by library officials until six weeks ago, when they alerted the gardai.
During the investigation, it was discovered that some of the stolen books had already been sold by the thief.