A private donor has bought a letter written by Pádraig Pearse for over €120,000 and donated it to the National Museum of Ireland.
A letter written by Pádraig Pearse the night before he was executed, which had been due to be auctioned on the evening of the 17 April 2007, was sold privately and acquired by the National Museum of Ireland. The letter, which was sold for a sum in excess of €120,000, was bought for the museum by a benefactor who wishes to remain anonymous. The letter was written by Pádraig Pearse to the commander of the British forces in Ireland General Maxwell.
Commenting on the content of the letter Director of the National Museum Dr Pat Wallace comments,
It was an amazing letter in that it's so cool. I mean the man is ice cold. He has ice in his veins as he writes this letter.
The letter includes the last will and testament of Pádraig Pearse outlining to the British officers what to do with the money in his pocket, his watch and his poems to his mother, after his death. Dr Pat Wallace felt that it would have been entirely wrong for an object of this national importance to fall into private ownership.
This is part of the spiritual property of the people of Ireland.
Auctioneer Fonsie Mealy commented on the authenticity of the letter and said that the previous owner of the letter has been revealed to the National Museum.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 17 April 2007. The reporter is Sinéad Crowley.