2008-04-15-2019-02-22 --- 2019-02-22 22:38:44--00
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LOT :587
Estimate EUR : €0.00 - €0.00
Auction Date : 15-04-2008


POBLACHT NA hEIREANN. The Provisional Goverment of the Irish Republic to the People of Ireland. Irishmen and Irishwomen: In the name of God and of the dead generations from which she receives her old tradition of nationhood, Ireland, through us, summons her children to her flag and strikes for her freedom .. Signed on behalf of the Provisional Government, Thomas J. Clarke, Sean Mac Diarmada, Thomas MacDonagh, P.H. Pearse, Eamonn Ceannt, James Connolly. Joseph Plunkett. An original copy of the Proclamation of Independence, the founding document of Irish nationhood, printed at Liberty Hall in Dublin under the protection of soldiers of the Citizen Army on Easter Sunday 1916, and read on the steps of the General Post Office by P.H. Pearse at noon on Easter Monday at the start of the Easter Rising. Broadsheet, present dimensions of paper 29 5/8 ins. depth x 19 7/16 ins. width, slightly trimmed from the original 30 x 20 ins., probably when cut from a previous mount, width of printed line 18 1/4 ins. (as specified by Bouch), vertical depth of printed surface 29 7/16 ins. (within the range specified by Bouch - the vertical dimension varies from one copy to another since the document was printed in two sections with a central gap). With all the typographical features found by Bouch in vouched original copies of the first printing, and none of those which identify later printings. Printed on thickish paper of poor quality, the paper somewhat browned as usual, damp stain at foot, central pinhole at old fold with no loss of text, short tear at top outside printed surface, generally a very good copy of a document which for obvious reasons is never found in fine condition. This copy neatly signed lower left under text, 'Sean McGarry / G.P.O. 1916'. [Sean McGarry was Tom Clarke's aide-de-camp and bodyguard in the G.P.O. throughout the Rising, and must have been present when Pearse read the Proclamation on Easter Monday]. Mounted and framed. A very desirable copy of this rare document. Sean McGarry was one of the inner group of IRB leaders who planned and carried out the Easter Rising. A close friend of Tom Clarke and Sean Mac Diarmada, he was active in the IRB by or before 1910, and was one of the younger men who supported Clarke in taking control of the movement from the older generation around that time. He was present at the crucial private meeting with Connolly in September 1914, when the decision was made to organise a rising during the course of the European war which had just begun. In 1915 McGarry was sent by Tom Clarke to Liverpool to meet Mrs. O'Donovan Rossa on her arrival from America, and to escort her to Ireland with her husband's remains for the funeral at which Pearse delivered his celebrated address. At Easter 1916 McGarry was assigned to be Tom Clarke's aide-de-camp and bodyguard. He spent the Saturday night before the Rising in the Clarke household, where the decision was made to strike on Easter Monday in spite of MacNeill's countermanding order. He fought in the GPO throughout Easter Week and was sentenced to death, commuted to eight years penal servitude. He was released in June 1917. He then became President of the IRB's new Supreme Council, and worked closely with Michael Collins to reorganise the IRB and the Volunteers, providing a crucial link between the pre-Rising Volunteers and the new group around Collins. He knew Collins well, having fought beside him in the G.P.O. and shared his imprisonment in Frongoch afterward. In May 1918 he was again arrested in the 'German Plot' round-up; his importance to the movement may be judged by the fact that Collins 'sprung' him from Lincoln Jail in 1919 with De Valera and Sean Milroy, using a key smuggled in a cake. Throughout the Anglo-Irish War he was a close and trusted associate of Collins, and there is evidence that his wife held funds for Collins which she distributed at his request. After independence Sean McGarry was briefly a member of the Dail, but resigned with other members of Joe McGrath's 'national group' in 1924. A quiet man who never pushed himself forward, he took no further part in politics. He was an electrical engineer by trade. It is believed that the Proclamation was based mainly on a draft by Pearse, with some changes by James Connolly and Thomas MacDonagh; unfortunately the original manuscript text has never come to light. It was printed in Liberty Hall in Dublin, on an old Wharfedale letterpress machine. The printer was Christopher Brady, the compositors were Michael Molloy and Liam O'Brien. The work began about mid-day on Sunday 23 April and was completed around 1.00 am on the morning of Easter Monday. As is well known, there was insufficient type available to set the entire document in one frame, and so it was printed in two parts, with the type of the first section broken up after printing so that the second part could be set and printed (i.e. each sheet went through the press twice). Because of this and other difficulties, it is estimated that no more than 1,000 copies were printed. Distribution was the responsibility of Helena Moloney, but since war conditions prevailed from the following day it is probable that not many copies left central Dublin. A few copies were brought home by Volunteers or their friends or by curious passers-by, and some were taken as souvenirs by police and army after the Rising, but so far as can be determined it seems that no more than 50 complete original copies have survived, of which the great majority are in institutional collections from which they are unlikely to emerge. We are aware of no more than a handful of copies signed by participants in the Rising, especially those stationed in the GPO, of whom the majority (besides those executed) were arrested and taken to England.

Hammer Price : €360,000.00
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