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    A shillelagh from the massacre in the quiet Cork village of Ballinhassig in 1845 sold for a hammer price of 5,100 at Fonsie Mealy’s summer auction in Castlecomer last week.  From the collection of the noted Cork antiquarian Robert Day it had been estimated at 300-400.  The massacre followed faction fighting after the fair day and eleven people, ten men and a woman, were shot dead by police.  The shillelagh came with an engraved plaque, mounted and inscribed: “Retrieved after Fair Day Massacre, Ballinhassig, 30 June “45”.  The vast collection of Robert Day (1836-1914) was dispersed at major auctions before and after his death. It included gold, Viking silver, jewellery and medieval religious items. Much of it ended up in museums or in the hands of the world’s richest men, including Randolph Hearst. Robert Day was the president of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society. The family business in saddlery and sporting goods meant he had a Cork city centre location for anyone wishing to sell something to him.

    The shillelagh

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