National Library employee held over €80k book theft
AN EMPLOYEE of the National Library of Ireland has been arrested after a major investigation into the suspected theft of a number of valuable books.
When gardai raided the man's home in Clonsilla, west Dublin, they recovered around 250 books, pamphlets, artefacts and other memorabilia.
The 35-year-old man, who works at the library, was brought for questioning 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.
Detectives from the Arts and Antiques Unit of the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (NBCI) have been working on the case.
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.