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    Saturday, May 8th, 2021

    A letter from Kevin Barry to Kathleen Carney just hours before he was executed is the most expensively estimated lot at Whyte’s annual Eclectic Collector sale next weekend. There are historical artefacts, manuscripts, books, maps, militaria, coins, banknotes, tribal objects and rare whiskies on offer. The auction kicks off with a Bronze Age sword found in Co. Fermanagh 70 years ago and estimated at €4,500-€5,500. At around 3000 years old it is the oldest object on offer. A copy of the Good Friday Agreement of 1998 signed by many of the negotiators (€5,000-€7,000) is in sharp contrast in terms of age. The letter Kevin Barry wrote to his friend Kathleen Carney, who would have been about 20 at the time, is estimated at €60.000-€80,000.  In the hours leading up to his hanging the 18 year old medical student mentions visits from two Sisters of Charity, the chaplain Fr. Albert, two Bon Secours Sisters  and finishes … “say a little prayer for me when I cash in, your pal, Kevin”.  Because Kevin Barry died at such a young age his signature is much prized by collectors. The sale includes four of his schoolbooks, including his French book signed K. Barry, Loyalist.A  collection of memorabilia relating to Count John McCormack and his family, including his portable altar and Papal Count uniforms, will arouse much interest. This is a timed online sale with the first session starting at noon on May and the second getting underway at noon on May 16. The online catalogue lists 655 lots.



    Sunday, April 22nd, 2018

    ‘SINN FEINER’S EXECUTION – CORK HONOURS THE DEAD’  was the headline on The Daily Mirror on November 1, 1920.  The Sinn

    An historic copy of the Daily Mirror  UPDATE:THIS MADE 200 AT HAMMER

    Feiner referred to was Kevin Barry, scheduled to be executed at 8 am on that morning, as Cork honoured its Lord Mayor Terence McSwiney, who had died in Brixton Prison on October 25 after 74 days on hunger strike.

    As a newspaper man it strikes me as an impressive and startling front page, dealing simultaneously with two major stories, composed almost entirely of photographs and captions and full of visual impact. We know the sorry history of these tragic deaths and their historical importance, here they are being played out in real time. A copy of the newspaper is lot 147 at the annual James Adam History Sale in Dublin on April 24 at 6 pm, estimated at just 80-120.
    There is a photo of 18 year old Dublin Medical student Kevin Barry on the top left of the page and a larger image of the coffin of Terence McSwiney at Cork City Hall on the top right.
    The picture on the lower left shows the Lord Mayor’s flower decked coffin on a tug guarded by the military.  The caption details how thousands paid their respects at Cork City Hall.  There are further photographs of an ambulance covered in flowers arriving at City Hall and Sinn Fein volunteers regulating queues of mourners.
    There are 287 lots in the auction including books, drawings, memorial cards, medals, photographs, letters, carvings, postcards, maps and militaria.  The catalogue is online.