Ultra-rare copy of 1916 Irish Proclamation of Independence sells for almost €200,000

Ultra-rare copy of 1916 Irish Proclamation of Independence sells for almost €200,000

ONE IRISH history buff has become the owner of an ultra-rare copy of the Irish Proclamation of 1916.

The now-famous Proclamation was secretly printed in Liberty Hall ahead of the 1916 Easter Rising and read out at the steps of the GPO under the supervision of Irish revolutionary James Connolly.

Only about 500 copies of the Proclamation were ever made, and fewer than 50 have survived, according to RTÉ News.

Many of the remaining copies can be found in national institutions and museums,with only around 20 in the hands of private buyers, making the newly sold copy an extremely rare find.

Sold by Whyte's Auctioneers for €190,000, the description of the item declared it to be "the document that launched an uprising that changed Ireland forever.

"Comparable to the Declaration of the United States of America, it is an historic relic of immense interest."

There are fewer than 50 copies of the Irish Proclamation of Independence left in the world

A pencil inscription on the lower left of the page, signed by a Mr J Brady, states that the original owner took it "off 'Marks' Jewellers shop Henry Street (opposite General Post Office) on Tuesday evening April 25th 1916".

The Proclamation had been expected to fetch between €100,000 - €150,000, but a spokesperson for Whyte's told RTÉ News that the item garnered "a lot of interest", with four bidders going head to head on the phone and in the room.

"It was an exceptional piece because of the inscription, which made it unique. We were optimistic of the higher estimate but are very pleased with the result.

"The total cost, including fees, will come to €236,000."