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Monday 25 September 2023 Dublin: 17°C
# Padraig Pearse
Unsold!: 1916 surrender letter set to leave Ireland after auction fails to reach €1m
It’s owner says he longer feels an obligation to keep it here.

THE FINAL ORDER of surrender written by Pádraig Pearse is now likely to leave Ireland after its owner expressed disappointment that it did not reach its €1 million reserve.

The document was up for auction at Adam’s auctioneers in Dublin this evening with bidding reaching € 770,000 before it was withdrawn.

The guide price for the sale was between €1,000,000 and €1,500,000 with its overseas owner now expected to seek an export licence for the document.

SURRENDER_LETTER Adam's auctioneers Adam's auctioneers

“On this occasion, the reserve was not met,” Stuart Cole, a director at Adam’s, said this evening.

The owner, based overseas, has requested that Adam’s apply for an export licence tomorrow to formally notify the government that the document will be leaving Ireland and for the process to be expedited.

“The owner was saddened that the government refused to bid for the document but now feels relieved of his obligations to keep the document in Ireland,” Cole added.

The government has said that the letter would “not be the best use of taxpayer’s money”.

Sinn Fein has described it as a “frankly bizarre decision” not to purchase the letter.

Peadar Tóibín TD has also raised the prospect of the minister refusing to grant the export licence for the document.

Speaking earlier today, he cautioned that this would be expensive:

It is within her power to refuse such a license and keep the document in the country and under the protection of the state. However, this is a complicated process, and potentially more costly than the outright purchase of the letter.

Patrick_Pearse Wikimedia Pádraig Pearse Wikimedia

The letter was written by Pearse shortly after his surrender and was an order to be sent to rebel fighters in the Four Courts. He was executed three days later.

The letter reads:

In order to prevent further slaughter of the civil population and in the hope of saving the lives of our followers, the members of the Provisional Government present at headquarters have decided on an unconditional surrender, and commandants or officers commanding districts will order their commands to lay down arms. PH Pearse, Dublin, 30th April 1916.

The letter was previously sold at public auction in 2005 for €800,000.

Read: The government is being strongly criticised for not buying Padraig Pearse’s 1916 surrender letter >

Read: Why were the 1916 leaders cast as background characters in Rebellion? The drama’s writer explains

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