Independent Media Centre Ireland

Sinn Féin disrupt sale of national heritage

category dublin | history and heritage | news report author Wednesday April 12, 2006 13:07author by Jonah

Members of Sinn Féin and Ógra Shinn Féin carried out a direct action at James Adams & Sons Auctioneers on Stephen's Green.

Members of Sinn Féin and Ógra Shinn Féin carried out a direct action at James Adams & Sons Auctioneers on Stephen's Green this morning with the objective of disrupting the auction of a collection of historical material related to the campaign for Irish independence and 1916 in particular.

Activists managed to penetrate security around the building and enter the auction floor as it was in progress and disrupt proceedings.

Two activists were arrested by Gardaí and are currently being held in Pearse Street Garda Station.

More details as they become available.

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author by Jon Gpublication date Wed Apr 12, 2006 14:43author address author phone

Two members of Ogra Sinn Féin have disrupted a huge auction of historical memorabilia taking place in Dublin today to coincide with the anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising.

A total of 450 items are being put on sale in the auction, including the first known version of the national anthem and the tricolour that flew over the GPO during the Rising.

The two Ogra Sinn Féin members managed to infiltrate the crowd at the auction and shouted "Irish history should not be for sale" as one of the items was sold.

Museum director slams Rising auction

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.

author by tuathal - TaraWatchpublication date Wed Apr 12, 2006 15:09author email uatuathal at yahoo dot comauthor address author phone

Govt 'has expressed no interest in 1916 memorabilia'
12/04/2006 - 07:22:28

The Government is coming under fire for failing to express an interest in purchasing memorabilia from the Easter Rising that is due to go on auction today.


TaraWatch: Everything is NOT For Sale - press release today:

Related Link:
author by Jonahpublication date Wed Apr 12, 2006 16:03author address author phone

A minimum of four people, not two, got onto the auction floor and others were stopped outside.

One of the people arrested was a member of Ógra Shinn Féin and one a member of Sinn Féin.

Gardaí were not set upon as they left but rather forced their way through a peaceful picket that had been taking place outside. During this there were scuffles and two members of Ógra Shinn Féin were slightly injured.

Both men who were arrested have now been released.

author by Vincent Salafia - TaraWatchpublication date Wed Apr 12, 2006 16:50author email salafia at gmail dot comauthor address author phone



12 April 2006 - 2.30PM

'Protest at Independence Auction Claimed Irish History is Not for Sale'

A protest was held at James Adam & Sons and Mealy's Auctioneers today at 11.30am by TaraWatch and Ogra Sinn Fein, who claimed that "Irish history is not for sale".

While both groups planned their demonstrations separately, we were both protesting the sale of hugely important items of Ireland's national heritage, such as a draft of the national anthem, the flag that flew over the GPO in 1916, and an original copy of the Proclamation of Independence.

We were also protesting the lack of interest shown by the Government in purchasing these items. The auctioneers have stated that there has been no interest shown by the Government, despite criticism by the Director of the National Museum, who said that the Government should purchase the items.

Two members of Ogra Sinn Fein were arrested by for disrupting the event. A number of others stood in front of the door, despite a large Garda presence, including the Garda helicopter.

Vincent Salafia, who was present, said:

"While I am not a member of any party, I salute the actions taken today by these patriotic youths, who did nothing more than exercise their civic duty to protect our national assets.

"This Government is happy to stand down and let these massively important items, which belong to all citizens, to go into private hands and possibly leave the country.

"It comes as no surprise, as this is the same Government that is selling off parts of the Hill of Tara to rivate toll road and commercial property developers.

"Everything is for sale. They know the price of everything and the value of nothing."


Contact: Vincent Salafia 087-132-3365

Related Link:
author by Pearses Ghostpublication date Wed Apr 12, 2006 16:55author address author phone


Wheres Our Mates Ya Blueshirts?
Wheres Our Mates Ya Blueshirts?

author by (",)publication date Wed Apr 12, 2006 17:28author address author phone

The opening of a major auction of Easter Rising memorbilia has been disrupted by protesters
Demonstrators gathered at John Adam`s Auctioneers in Dublin, concerned that historical items would be snapped up by foreign buyers.

Among the items to go under the hammer is the first manuscript of the Irish anthem, Amhrán na bhFiann and the tricolour that flew from the General Post Office during the Easter Rising.

As the hammer came down on the first item, there was a commotion.

Two protesters, who tried to disrupt the auction, were bundled out of the building by two Gardai and arrested.

author by Cynicalpublication date Wed Apr 12, 2006 18:39author address author phone

when are you guys actually going to do something concrete

author by Citizenpublication date Wed Apr 12, 2006 18:49author address author phone

Just seen it on TV3 news.

Who was the youngish looking fella who punched one of the ogra's when he was being held in the auction room.

Looked like a young member of the auction room staff just having a go for no reason.

Charge him with assault.

author by Bpublication date Wed Apr 12, 2006 19:09author address author phone

Well done lads wish I had known about this today i would have went in and lended my support..cynical what have you done lately? Actually I dont care. Fair play Ogra see you at Baldonnell on Sunday..

Were the items sold in the end? For how much and by who?

author by Siunnibrid - Flicker Light Studiopublication date Wed Apr 12, 2006 20:10author email siunnibrid at flickerlight dot orgauthor address author phone

Easter Rising
The auctioning off of Easter Rising memorabilia
The news I receive from Ireland continues to dismay me and break my heart! Recently, I hear that the memorabilia left from the 1916 Easter Rising is to be auctioned today! My dear soul, to think that these men who brought about the freedom that the Republic of Ireland “enjoys” to this very day are not to be remembered in a museum, but rather to be bandied about in the private collection of goodness knows who! And to what purpose? Where are the funds going to be used? Will it be to the good of the Irish for whom these men of yesteryear gave their lives? I think not! To quote from the very distinguished Padraig Henry Pearse:

Mise Eire (I Am Ireland)

“I am Ireland
I am older than the Old Woman of Bearra,
Great is my glory,
I who gave birth to
Cuchulain the brave,
Great is my shame,
My own family
Have sold their mother.
I am Ireland,
I am lonelier than the
Old Woman of Bearra.”

And again:

"We know of only one definition of freedom; it is Tone's definition, it is Mitchel's definition, it is Rossa's definition. Let no man blaspheme the cause that the dead generations of Ireland served, by giving it any other name and definition other than their name and their definition."

-- Padraig Pearse

An American Irish
Susan Repasky

author by Anarchistpublication date Wed Apr 12, 2006 22:59author address author phone

While I might not be an officiando of Sinn Feins politics I admire the direct action stance being taken by Ogra.
As Anarchists we believe lobbying the bureaucracy is a waste of time and energy and disempowers activists and the community at large.
So well done to Ogra on continuing to keep up direct actions against Bertie and the bullshitters-with the 1916 commemorations looming large,and direct actions planned,we hope to see you all there exposing the Governments anti-imperialist facade.
Oh and cynical-armchair expertise will never get you anywhere,if you have a more effective way of tackling these issues ,lets have you,one-sided criticism is worthless.
City Centre-12 midday!
Baldonnel 3pm!
Let the direct action continue!

author by apublication date Wed Apr 12, 2006 23:37author address author phone

of republican history - not to worry about selling out its future though:)

author by James Connolly - The forefatherspublication date Thu Apr 13, 2006 01:41author address author phone

Mighty words indeed. For more on this story see:

author by Hensonspublication date Thu Apr 13, 2006 03:27author address author phone

Shane Mc Thomais of Sinn Fein being arrested and in handcuffs after yesterdays protest.

Arrest of SF member
Arrest of SF member

author by Cyncialpublication date Thu Apr 13, 2006 09:46author address author phone

Direct Action for the sake of it.

Oh and don't forget the free publicity.

Sounds like a sensible plan to me.

author by Joanne - SINN FEINpublication date Thu Apr 13, 2006 09:53author address author phone

I'm sorry to say I am not surprised this government showed no interest in these auction items. The hypocracy of this new found interest by Bertie in commemorating 1916 while at the same time being unable to find just 3 million to protect our history is shameful and embarassing to say the very least. My question is why aren't other political representatives speaking out about this, why did they standing idly by and allow this to happen???

author by malachy steensonpublication date Thu Apr 13, 2006 11:03author address author phone

As the Provisionals/M15 have sold out on the principles of 1916, and have administered British rule in Ireland through the Northern Assembly, and are currently demanding that HMG allow them to readminister it, is it not a bit of a nonsense to be complaining about selling of historical items.

Surely the defence of the Republic and and the implementation of the Democratic Programme of the First Dail are the key principles to be followed.

In the same way as the baby Provisionals /MI5 let off stink bombs last week when protesting about the Health Service, when their grown up collegues got the opportunity to act as British Ministers in Ireland they had no propblem in implementing Public -Private Partnerships in Health and Education and in closing Hospitals.

"If only a few are faithful found, they must be the more steadfast for being but a few. They stand for an individual right that is inalienable. One man alone may vindicate it, and because that one man has never failed it has never died". Mac Sweeney

author by tuathal - TaraWatchpublication date Thu Apr 13, 2006 11:24author address author phone

National Museum hopes to gain from sale

Irish Independent - Thu, Apr 13 06

THE National Museum is hoping to fill gaps in its collection as a
result of yesterday's auction of historical documents and artefacts...


State's failure to buy 1916 artefacts slammed.

Daily Ireland - Thursday, 13 April 2006

A HERITAGE campaigner last night slammed the Irish Government's failure to
purchase 1916 historic items at a major Dublin auction yesterday.

Among the items sold at the auction was the first draft of the national anthem
which fetched e760,000...


Sale of the century goes on at the Green despite brief SF uprising

Irish Times - Thu, Apr 13, 06

The auction room upstairs in James Adam & Sons of Stephen's Green
filled from the end, like a classroom...

Related Link:
author by Videopublication date Thu Apr 13, 2006 12:06author address author phone

Video of the protest and the guy getting punched.

author by watcherpublication date Thu Apr 13, 2006 12:18author address author phone

restrain the guy maybe don't try and punch him once he's already got two guys on him???

author by SHpublication date Thu Apr 13, 2006 12:34author address author phone

That was assault, it was not defense and it is inexcusable. It was disgraceful that a so called "reputable" company like Adams have an employee who on national televison assaulted a young member of the public who was restrained. It was also extremely cowardly aswell, I doubt the man would have punched the Ogra activist if he hadn't been restrained by others. Hopefully the Ogra member will press charges of assault against this fella. People should contact the auctioneers and complain about this.

author by Tpublication date Thu Apr 13, 2006 17:36author address author phone


"A heritage campaigner last night slammed the Irish government’s failure to purchase 1916 historic items at a major Dublin auction yesterday..

"However, Vincent Salafia, who has been one of the leading members of the campaign to save the Hill of Tara, last night claimed there was a connection between the Tara campaign and yesterday’s auction.
“Of course there is a connection, it is the same government involved that does not care about this country’s heritage,” Mr Salafia said.
“The situation here for us is that the government is selling of parts of the Hill of Tara to a private tolling company.
“They are selling off something that is fundamental to all our history.
“And what we had at the auction is the government sitting idly by, while some of the most important historical artefacts from our history are sold into private and foreign hands.
“Both situations show the government allowing our heritage that belongs to us all going into the private open market.”
Mr Salafia took part in a protest yesterday outside Dublin auctioneers, James Adam & Sons against the auction......

see Daily Ireland front page story

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