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    Sunday, May 3rd, 2020

    With everything from the theatre programme for the first production of The Playboy of the Western World at the Abbey Theatre in 1907 to the poetry of Terence McSwiney to the GAA medals of Leonard McGrath and a cache of old IRA documents from 1924-31 the online Collectors Sale by Fonsie Mealy is brimful of interest.The timed auction of 439 lots runs at The Saleroom until the evening of May 5.  It features scare modern literature items, signed copies, limited editions, manuscripts, sporting memorabilia, Republican material, cinema posters, pub memorabilia, rare Irish and Scotch whiskies, bourbon and liqueurs and even some designer handbags, purses and scarves.The Leonard McGrath collection is, at €15,000-20,000, the most expensively estimated lot.  He played a starring forward role in Galway’s first All Ireland hurling win in 1923 and also played on the winning 1925 football team.  A member of the elite group of 16 players to achieve such a success in both codes the Australian born Galway reared McGrath was, as a member of the winning Galwegians rugby team in the 1926-27 season, expelled from the GAA  for playing a foreign sport. The lot includes a large bundle of musical scores signed by Leonard McGrath and used at competitions and various singing events and Feis CeoilsA programme for the 1931 All-Ireland Hurling Final in which Cork drew with Kilkenny is estimated at €500-700.  Cork won the replay.Lot 274 is a file of IRA Army Council archives from 1924-25 and 1929-31.  It comprises document sent to and issued by the IRA’s Chief of Staff who for much of the period covered was Moss Twomey.   More than 300 documents over 500 pages give detailed accounts of activities and internal procedures.  The lot is estimated at €1,000-1,500.A scarce 1918 book of poetry by Terence MacSwiney, Battle Cries, in grey printed wrappers with proceeds in aid of the Dependents Fund has an estimate of €150-200. There is no publisher or censor’s approval.  The author was elected Lord Mayor of Cork after the murder of Tomas MacCurtain in March of 1920.  Arrested later that year and charged with having seditious documents the Lord Mayor of Cork died aged 41 on the 74th day of his hunger strike in Brixton Prison on October 25, 1920.There is a limited edition book of poetry from John Montague. A Fair House: Versions of Irish Poetry was printed in 1972.  It is being sold together with another Montague work, The Lost Notebook, with illustrations by John Verling published by the Mercier Press in 1987. The estimate is €100-150.  There are first editions by authors ranging from Liam O’Flaherty and Frank O’Connor to Ian Fleming as well as cinema posters and historic rugby programmes.The Abbey Theatre programme for Saturday, 26th January 1907  for seven nights including the first production of The Playboy by Synge is estimated at €200-300.  This was one of the most celebrated and controversial productions of the Irish theatre.  All lots can be viewed on The Saleroom.

    UPDATE: The sale realised in excess of € 120,000  on the hammer with 85% sold. The Leonard McGrath medals made 28,500 at hammer.