Gardaí recover rare and vintage instruments for 'Accordion Man'

Mon, Dec 17, 2012, 00:00

“Santa Stop Here,” says the sign outside Laytown Garda station, and he did on Saturday for “Accordion Man”, aka Ken Hopkins (64), when gardaí returned 12 vintage accordions stolen from him in August. More than 30 of the rare and ornately decorated musical instruments were stolen from his home in Comber, Co Down.

Some of the accordions returned to him appear to have minor damage to the keys or buttons. However all are repairable, work Mr Hopkins will do himself.

Known throughout Europe for his love of restoring and collecting the instruments, he was duped into leaving his house in August in the belief he was going to meet two men who wanted to buy one.

They never appeared and he returned home to find 30 instruments had been stolen, some of them worth between £20,000 and £30,000.

The recovery was a result of inquiries by gardaí from Dundalk and Laytown. They were found in a derelict area of Mornington, near the east Meath coast. They are estimated to be worth about £13,000.