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Sinn Féin to protest at sale of important 1916 and Tan War documents

17 April, 2007

Sinn Féin will hold a protest outside the offices of James Adams Auctioneers on St. Stephens Green this morning at 11am to oppose the sale of important historical documents from 1916 and the Tan War.  Sinn Féin Ard Chomhairle member Councillor Pearse Doherty will be available to talk to the media.    Mr. Doherty said "important historical document should be the property of all the people of Ireland and not sold off to the highest bidder."

Mr. Doherty said,

“This time last year there was huge anger as irreplaceable historical documents were sold off to the highest bidder in an auction hall in Dublin city centre.  But twelve months on the government has not intervened and this morning important documents from 1916 and the War of Independence are once again being sold off.  These include a letter from Padraig Pearse written only hours before his execution and copies of the Workers Republic handwritten by James Connolly. 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.

"Last year Sinn Féin tabled an emergency motion in the Dáil to demand legislation to prevent the sale or export of such irreplaceable and significant documents or artefacts. The government refused to bring it forward. Such legislation is urgently required."ENDS


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