Rare first anniversary Proclamation to go under the hammer

A rare first anniversary Irish Proclamation is expected to sell for tens of thousands of euros at auction next month.

It was printed on the first anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising when rebels staged a major rising against British rule in Ireland.

There are just three 1917 Proclamations known to still be in existence.

One of only three known first-anniversary copies of the Irish Proclamation is set to sell at auction next month (Gemma Gilfillan/PA)

The Proclamation is set to go under the hammer at Victor Mee Auctions in Co Cavan on May 8.

In 1917, the Proclamation was removed by a member of the Dublin Metropolitan Police at Butt Bridge in central Dublin on orders of the High Sheriff to avoid political unrest.

He later gave it to Robert Bradley, a retired sheriff.

It was passed on to the McKay family who safely kept the piece for over six decades, passing it down to the current owner.

The current owner, who wishes to remain anonymous said: “The Proclamation was given by the sheriff to my father with the words ‘look after this it will be important someday’.

“My father kept it safely over six decades until finally it became my responsibility.”

The seller’s father almost parted with this rare piece of history in the 1960s, when an American businessman had placed an advertisement in the local paper looking for Proclamations.

However the copy had been so safely stowed on the top of a wardrobe that it could not be located at the time.

The 1917 Proclamations were printed by Cumann na mBan with the original printing blocks used for the original version after they were gathered from the wreckage of the GPO.

It has been estimated to sell for 10,000 (£8,650) to 20,000 euro (£17,300) when it goes under the hammer on May 8.

An original Royal Irish Constabulary plaque, originally taken down from a police station in Dublin will also go under the hammer (Gemma Gilfillan/PA)

The Irish Connections Collectors sale which will take place over two days from May 8-9 will also see the selling of an original Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) plaque, originally taken down from a police station in Dublin.

The RIC was disbanded following the partition of Ireland in 1921, and was replaced by An Garda Siochana in the then Irish Free State which would later become the Republic of Ireland, and the Royal Ulster Constabulary in Northern Ireland.

Auctioneer Victor Mee said the firm was honoured to have been chosen to sell the artefacts which he said represent a poignant time in Ireland’s history.

“There are only three of these proclamations known to be in existence so we believe this piece will draw many bidders from around the world to the auction house in May,” he said.

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