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Swab used to clean face of Michael Collins withdrawn from auction

A COTTON swab, used to clean the face of revolutionary leader Michael Collins following his death in 1922, has been withdrawn from an auction planned for next week.

The swab was pulled from auction just days after a lock of his hair was also withdrawn amid controversy.

In a statement to RTE, the owners of the swab say they tried unsuccessfully over the past seven years to find an appropriate repository for it and other items that have been in the possession of their family for around 90 years.

The statement was issued by auctioneers Mealy Rare Books Ltd on behalf of their client.

As part of this process, the sellers say they approached the National Museum, other national institutions, experts and a number of individuals.

The vendor claims the institutions concerned refused to accept the items.