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McGuinness matchstick tower sells for €5,200

Presidential hopeful Martin McGuinness may have regretted donating a round tower he built from matchsticks during his time at Portlaoise Prison after it went under the hammer at a weekend auction.

A New Jersey collector snapped up the piece of art for €5,200 over the phone to Whyte's Auctioneers in Dublin on Saturday.

The gold-painted tower presented to the late Derry-born priest, Fr Jimmy Shiels, was made in 1974 after Mr McGuinness was convicted of being a member of the IRA in February of that year.

Ian Whyte, managing director of Whyte's Auctioneers, said there was "great interest" in modern history and memorabilia, particularly in relation to the North.

Irish Independent