Rare Irish Proclamation sells for almost 15,000 euro at auction

A rare Irish Proclamation has sold for almost 15,000 euro at auction.

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

The Proclamation went under the hammer at Victor Mee Auctions in Co Cavan on Wednesday with an estimate of between 10,000 euro (£8,650) and 20,000 euro (£17,300).

Rare Proclamation sells at auction
A rare first anniversary Irish Proclamation printed in 1917, which sold for 14,500 euro at Victor Mee Auctions in Co Cavan (Gemma Gilfillan/PA)

The auction house said it was sold to a private client in Northern Ireland for 14,500 euro (£12,500).

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

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 seller, 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 some day’.

“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 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 printing blocks used for the original version after they were gathered from the wreckage of the GPO.

The Irish Connections Collectors auction also included the sale of an original 19th century Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) station plaque, which was taken down originally from a police station in Dublin.

RIC plaque sells at auction
A Royal Irish Constabulary plaque, which sold for 1,250 euro (Gemma Gilfillan/PA).

It was expected to sell for between 400 euro (£350) and 600 euro (£500). But when it went under the hammer it was purchased by a private museum in the Republic for 1,250 euro (£1,050), more than double its estimate.

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.

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