5 amazing pieces of Irish history



2015-06-26 14:06:34

5. War of independence ceasefire

The Irish war of independence was fought from 1919-1921. The election of republican group Sinn Fein (which immediately declared independence) and the shooting of two Garda in Tipperary by British forces sparked the conflict.

A ceasefire was announced in 1921 and a free state declared soon after, in 1922. This copy of the ceasefire document signed by George O'Dwyer, head of the Kilkenny Brigade of the IRA, is one of around 20 extant.

It sold for $55,933 at Whyte's in Dublin in 2006.

4. Michael Collins membership card

Image: Whyte's 

Michael Collins (1890-1922) served as Minister of Finance in the first Dail (parliament) of 1919. At the outbreak of war, he was appointed director of intelligence for the IRA.

He later became chairman of the provincial government and is regarded as one of the chief architects of Irish independence. This Sinn Fein membership card featuring his signature dates to around 1907 and sold for $68,403 at Whyte's in 2006.

3. Proclamation of the Irish Republic

Image: Whyte's

This 1916 proclamation of the Irish Republic led to the Easter Rising and is one of only very few surviving copies extant. It made $228,010 in 2006.

2. Peader Kearney

Image: Whyte's

Peader Kearney was the author of the Irish national anthem (The Soldier's Song) and a whole host of other republican tunes.  

He co-founded the Volunteers (later known as the IRA) and fought in both the Easter Rising and the war of independence. This major archive of writings, photographs and documents sold for $524,423 at Whyte's in 2006.

1. Sinn Fein flag

Image: Adam's

This tricolour is believed to have been flown from the roof of Dublin's General Post Office during the 1916 rising. It was later captured by British troops.

Interestingly, in 1922, a British officer presented it to the Sweetman family – who were known for their strong association with Sinn Fein and the struggle for independence.

It sold for $639,016 at Adam's in 2006.


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