Heritage ‘on sale now’
Heritage ‘on sale now’

Memorabilia spanning a thousand years of Irish history is set to go under the hammer in the latest controversial sell-off of historical treasures by Whyte’s auction house in Dublin.

A rate Fenian Rising flag brandished at meetings during the Land League campaign is expected to fetch up to 50,000 euro when it goes under the hammer later this month.

“The 1916 Rising still attracts the most interestat these sales and,with the centenary approaching, collectors - both public and private - are still paying good prices for rarities,” the Whytes catalogue said.

Almost 600 lots will are up for sale in this week’s auction.

Among the diverse collection are a belt buckle from Padraig Pearse’s Irish Volunteer’s uniform.

The auction will also include prisoner art made by internees at Long Kesh in the early 1970s before the prison was built at the site.

The constant sell-off of Irish national treasures by Whyte’s and other auction houses has infuriated the public but has been given the blessing of the Dublin government.

Last month, a a public meeting of the ‘Save 16 Moore Street’ campaign saw the houses where 1916 rebels spent their final hours before surrender described as ‘the Irish Alamo’.

Due to their historic significance, the houses at 14 to 17 Moore Street were designated national monuments by then environment minister Dick Roche in 2007. Number 16 Moore Street is the site where Irish rebel leaders made the decision to surrender to British forces after the 1916 Rising.

However in March this year, planning permission for a major redevelopment around and including the site was given the go ahead.

James Connolly Heron, a great-grandson of James Connolly and a member of the ‘Save 16 Moore Street’ committee, said: “We’re calling for the terrace to be taken out of the development plan altogether and for the creation of a holistic cultural quarter.”

Mr Doyle said: “We welcome regeneration of the area but we’re concerned the development will be an infringement on the national monument site. Next year is the 95th anniversary of the Rising and politicians will be banging their chests. They’re not interested until it comes to an anniversary...

“This site is the Irish Alamo, there should be a national monument to it.”

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