Updated: 08/12/16 : 05:57:17
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Pearse surrender letter withdrawn at auction

Pádraig Pearse's handwritten surrender letter was yesterday withdrawn from auction after the top bid reached only €770,000.

The letter was expected to fetch between €1m and €1.5m.

Commenting on this, Stuart Cole, a Director at Adam’s, said, “On this occasion, the reserve was not met.

The owner, based overseas, has requested that Adam’s apply for an export licence today, Thursday, to formally notify the Government that the document will be leaving Ireland and for the process to be expedited.

"The owner was saddened that the Government refused to bid for the document but now feels relieved of his obligations to keep the document in Ireland”.

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams had called on Taoiseach Enda Kenny to get the Government to buy it.

Diarmaid Ferriter, professor of modern Irish history at University College Dublin, said the letter did not belong in an auction and that the sale debases Irish heritage on the 100th anniversary of the rebellion.

Pearse wrote the surrender letter in his prison cell on April 30 1916 shortly after he had given up the fight.

He was executed three days later.

A number of typed copies exist but the handwritten and signed letter put up for sale at Adam's is one of a kind.