Irish Republican News · April 21, 2006
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
SF seeks to prevent export of artefacts

Sinn Féin is to put forward a motion in the Dublin parliament demanding legislation to prevent the sale and export of important historical documents.

It follows last week’s controversial auction of historical artefacts connected to the 1916 Rising, including an origional copy of Amhran na bhFiann, the national anthem.

“Many people were very angry to see irreplaceable historical documents sold off to the highest bidder in an auction hall in Dublin city centre,” said Dublin MEP Mary Lou McDonald.

“Such documents are vital to future generations and should be kept in the ownership of the people.

“Under current legislation the Government is able to compulsory purchase items such as the Ardagh Chalice, Tara brooch and paintings of national importance. The owners of these items are compensated by the state. However there is no legislation for the government to do this with written documents or archives.

“Sinn Féin TDs intend to table an emergency Dail motion to demand legislation to prevent the sale or export of such irreplaceable and significant documents or artefacts”, she said.

Two Sinn Féin members were arrested during protests against the sale, but were later released

The protest was to draw attention to the Government’s failure to intervene to secure historic documents, said Daithi O Riain of Sinn Féin’s youth wing.

“The Government should not allow such artefacts to be sold on the open market to wealthy individuals, either in Ireland or abroad.

“We believe that these important historical items should be in the ownership of the Irish people to be held and displayed in the name of, and for the educational and cultural benefit of, the Irish people.”

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© 2006 Irish Republican News