A Dublin firm are in the process of reuniting a stolen John Lavery painting estimated to be worth €20,000 with its rightful owner.

The work - 'Youth and Age' - was painted by the artist in 1885.

When it was brought to Whyte's Auctioneers, to be put up for auction in Dublin, they researched it.

Last week, they discovered it had been stolen from a school in England 25 years ago.

The Managing Director of Whyte's, Ian Whyte, says they have contacted gardaí, the school and police in England about the painting.

While Mr Whyte says he is disappointed that he has lost out on the commission on the painting, which he believes could have sold at auction for €20,000, he said the school is now due to be reunited with its treasure.

He says returning stolen paintings and artifacts to their rightful owners is becoming a lot more common thanks to the internet.