12 April 2006

Museum director slams Rising auction

RTÉ

12 April 2006 14:29

The Director of the National Museum of Ireland has said the leaders of the 1916 rising would not have wanted memorabilia to be sold at auction.

Dr Pat Wallace also said the State should not have to pay unreasonable amounts of money for historical items.

He was speaking ahead of today's auction in Dublin of more than 500 items from the 1916 Rising and War of Independence.

Earlier, two Ógra Sinn Féin members were arrested following a disturbance at the auction.

There were minor scuffles during protests at the sale of items which they said should be held by the Irish Government.

The first draft of the national anthem, Amhrán na bhFiann, is going under the hammer in what has been billed as the most significant auction in Irish history.

Penned by Peadar Kearney in 1907, The Soldier's Song, is expected to attract bids of up to €1.2m.

Today's auction at James Adam & Sons and Mealy's Auctioneers is being held at St Stephen's Green and will continue until this evening.

It includes other significant historical pieces including an original Proclamation of Independence dating to the Easter Rising in 1916.

The sale is being hosted to coincide with the 90th anniversary of the Rising.

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