Irish government must secure GPO Irish Flag from auction house.
Sinn Féin MLA Barry McElduff has stated that the Irish government must now move to purchase the Irish tricolour that was captured from the GPO in 1916. The attempted auctioning of this item went ahead but it did not receive the reserve price yesterday at an auction in New York.
Mr McElduff said:
“The attempted sale of this magnificent artefact, the flag that was captured from the GPO at Easter 1916, and any other significant historical artefacts relating to this period of Irish history should not be allowed to occur. They should really be in the hands of the Irish people.
“In previous years there have been sales of such artefacts in a number of auction houses and unfortunately, despite these being throughout the boom years of the Irish economy, the Irish government failed to have the foresight to capture these pieces of our history and return them to the people of this island.
“There is an onus on the Irish Government to direct compulsory purchases of such items and keep them in the National History museum. To sell of ones own heritage to hang on a private collectors wall is tantamount to the theft of this heritage.
“With this flag not reaching the reserve price there now exists a unique opportunity for the Irish government to act now. I would urge them to initiate contacts with the auction house with the aim of returning this flag to its rightful home.”