Proclamation sells for €100,000
AN original copy of the 1916 Proclamation is to remain in Ireland after a bidder last night paid €100,000 for the item at auction.
The buyer, who did not wish to be identified, bought the document, which is in excellent condition, after a bidding war between four people.
All four were Irish but none was present in the auction hall as they all preferred to make their offers over the phone.
The document is one of just 50 remaining copies printed for the 1916 Rising. It is thought that around 2,500 were made.
The Proclamation was set up and printed under Citizen Army guard at Liberty Hall on Easter Sunday, using type borrowed from several sources and a cheap lot of paper specially purchased by James Connolly.
The document was bought by a bidder in contact with a representative over the phone at Adams auction house in Dublin.
"I don't mind the question, but I'm not telling you who it is," the man who made the purchase told the Irish Independent at the auction. The seller also requested to remain secret.
The buyer will also have to pay €24,000 in buyer's fees, bringing the total cost to €124,000.
Ciaran O'Boyle, an auctioneer with James Adams and Sons, would only say that it was owned by an elderly couple in Co Longford whose family had strong republican connections.
"They want to make sure that it is passed on and that it is bought by a passionate collector. That way it is preserved," Mr O'Boyle said. Copies of the original proclamation are in the possession of the National Library. One is held in the National Museum and another is in Leinster House
"We're delighted with it. It's a very strong price," Mr O'Boyle said last night. He added that in 2004, before the economic crash, a person had bought a different original copy of the document for €390,000. "Those were different times," he said.
Meanwhile it has emerged that a vendor who decided at the last minute not to sell a lock of Michael Collins's hair at the auction had turned down an offer from his descendants.
Two of his grandnieces -- former MEP Mary Banotti and former Justice Minister Nora Owen -- had criticised the decision to sell the lock of hair.
Instead, the vendor decided to donate the item, which was taken by his sister in 1922 while Collins was lying in state, to the National Museum.
Other items sold at the auction yesterday included a set of Ulster Volunteer Force medals which went for €650 -- considerably below the minimum price of €1,000.