A winner's medal from the first All-Ireland Football Final in 1888 has been sold at auction at Sotheby's in London for €31,000.

The 9ct-gold medal was bought by the Limerick Leader newspaper which said it would put it on public display in Limerick.

The medal is a rare piece of GAA memorabilia and it went for around three times the original estimate when it went under the hammer this morning.

The Chairman of the Limerick Leader, John McStay, had bid for it by telephone.

It had been won by Malachi O'Brien from Ballinvrina, Emly, who played for the Limerick Commercials GAA Club. They beat Dundalk Young Irelands by 1-4 to 0-3 in April 1888.

The medal was eventually passed down through the family to Mary Doran who lives in Northampton and who is the daughter of Malachi O'Brien's great-grandnephew.

She said today she was delighted it would be going on public display in Limerick.