Tuesday, February 14, 2006


Irish anthem to be sold

Players rise for the anthem - but who will stand up for it?"A nation that forgets its past has no future" - Winston Churchill

Here is some news courtesy of UTV that has really shocked me.

Fears have been expressed that that the original hand-written words and music of Ireland's national anthem could leave the country after an auction in April.

Penned by Peadar Kearney in 1907 on two pieces of paper, Amhran na bhFiann is expected to attract bids of up to €1.2 million (£820,000) when it goes under the hammer.

Poignant last letters from Easter Rising revolutionaries will also be sold in one of the most historically significant auctions ever held in the country.

Auctioneer Fonsie Mealy (Ay! The Fonz! Sorry...) said he was worried the state's national anthem could be sold to a collector outside Ireland.

"Of supreme national importance, it will naturally be of interest to many Irish collectors and we would hope to see it stay in the country," he said.

"However, having already been offered to the state on different occasions, we are concerned that it could leave Ireland because of huge international interest."

Ireland's leading auction houses, James Adam & Sons and Mealy's Auctioneers, are joining forces to host the sale, which will be held in April to coincide with the 90th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising.

The Soldier's Song (Amhran na Bhfiann) was popularised by Irish revolutionaries during the Easter Rising and formally adopted as Ireland's national anthem in 1926.

Stuart Cole, director of James Adam & Sons, said the sale is unique in every respect.

"No sale of such national importance has ever been held before, and we imagine it won't be matched for a long time after," he said.

"Many of the items consigned for auction are one-offs. Previously unseen and entirely irreplaceable, they derive from important Irish families directly involved in the Easter Rising and the battle for Irish independence."

The national anthem will be auctioned alongside items that track the history of the Irish revolution, from the spark of 1798 right through to the British government's telegram announcing the declaration of the Irish Free State.

Unbelievably, and in my view just as important as the original hand-written lyrics of Amhran na bhFiann, comes the news that the Tricolour believed to have flown over the GPO during the 1916 Easter Rising is also on sale! What the hell?!

Could someone please explain to me what other arsehole country would allow such an auction to take place? Hmm? The Irish government should step in immediately and purchase the hand-written original anthem and the Tricolour at the very least and it should consider purchasing alot of the other items as well.

Can you imagine the original Irish anthem or the Tricolour that flew over the GPO during the Easter Rising ending up on some rich guy's wall in the Cayman Islands? Perish the thought...

Apparently Bertie's plan for 'taking back' the Rising this year involves allowing the remnants of said Rising to be prostituted.

It is an outrage.


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