Garda inquiry into Famine letters

 

GARDAÍ ARE investigating the alleged theft of letters related to the Famine which were withdrawn from auction earlier this week.

It is understood the allegations surround the theft of the letters many years ago, and there is no suggestion that the letters were stolen by the person who had offered them for auction.

The collection of some 2,000 letters had been due to be auctioned by Adam’s salesrooms in Dublin on Tuesday.

On Monday evening, Adam’s said the letters had been withdrawn and would remain as a collection in Ireland.

It issued a brief statement on Monday, saying it was “delighted to announce that the Stewart and Kincaid Famine letters are to be kept together as a collection and given to an important archive here in Ireland, where they will, in due course, be available for academic research”.

Asked who had bought them and how much had been paid, Adam’s said it could not comment any further on the matter.

In response to queries yesterday, a Garda spokesman said he could “confirm this matter is currently under investigation by gardaí in Mullingar, and inquiries are ongoing”.

A spokesman for Adam’s was not available to comment.

The person from whom the letters were allegedly stolen is out of the country. A relative of this man said he would not be discussing the issue and did not wish to draw attention to it, as it was a complicated matter.

The letters originally came from the archives of a firm of Dublin solicitors, Stewart and Kincaid, who acted as landlords’ agents on a large scale. The letters are from landlords’ agents and sublandlords nationwide, concerning the collection of rent.