Some of the most important Irish paintings to go under the auctioneer's hammer are on public view in Dublin.

Ahead of an auction in London Sothebys has put on display a collection of paintings of Irish artists at Newman House on St Stephen's Green in Dublin. Included in the collection is a Jack B Yeats painting titled 'A Farewell to Mayo' bought by Laurence Olivier for his wife Vivien Leigh, the Oscar winning star of 'Gone With The Wind'.

The painting is expected to fetch up to £250,000. Another Yeats painting 'Leaving the Raft' is expected to seel for even more at £300,000. Other artists included in the exhibition are Sir John Lavery and Walter Osborne. Mark Adams of Sothebys expects that many buyers at the auction in London, will be international.

At another exhibition at the Hotel Conrad Christies were showing a collection of Irish paintings also due to go to auction in London next month. Belfast artist John Luke's painting of the loughs at Edenderry is one of the most valuable for its size and is expected to fetch around £80,000. Yeats and Lavery also feature along with William Orpen, Roderic O'Connor and Richard Moynan. Bernard Williams of Christies also emphasises the importance of Irish art to an international audience.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 17 April 1996. The reporter is Colm Connolly.