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Ireland’s history should not be for sale – Ó Snodaigh

16 April, 2008


Dublin Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has condemned the sale of historical artefacts relating to the 1916 Rising and the Tan War at an auction in Dublin yesterday. Deputy Ó Snodaigh said significant historical artefacts relating to this period of Irish history should be in the hands of the Irish people and the Government of this state should compulsory purchase such items and keep them in the National History museum.

Members of Ógra Sinn Féin held a picket at yesterday's auction in protest at the selling off of Ireland's history.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said, "Over the last number of years James Adams Auctioneers have 'celebrated' Easter by selling to the highest bidder significant historical artefacts relating to the 1916 Rising and the Tan War period. This goes completely against the grain of what the men and women of this period stood for. All significant artefacts relating to this period of our history should be in the hands of the Irish people.

"Under current legislation the Government is able to compulsory purchase items such as the Ardagh Chalice, the Tara Broach and paintings of National significance. However the legislation under which this is allowed does not cover written documents or archives. This is the loophole which allows James Adams Auctioneers to sell our history each year.

"I am calling on the Government, in the context of their renewed enthusiasm for celebrating the 1916 Rising, to facilitate the closing of this loophole. Significant artefacts relating to this period of our history should be compulsory purchased and kept for the Irish people at the National History museum." ENDS

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