Exciting Collections Of Rare Books & GAA Memorabilia To Go Under The Hammer

Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers will conduct an exciting auction specialising in GAA memorabilia, which comprises of over 800 lots. The auction will take place in The Kilkenny Ormonde Hotel, Ormonde Street, Kilkenny on Wednesday 28th September at 10:30am.

The auction consists of a collection of rare and historic GAA and sporting memorabilia, as well as other interesting collectors and literary items. The libraries of the late John Bradley (Historian and Archaeologist) and Officer Peter James Rankin, Order of the British Empire (OBE) are included in this specialist auction. John Bradley was said to be an “Inspirational university teacher and foremost archaeologist of Irish towns”. Peter Rankin has been described as a “prominent Belfast solicitor, a connoisseur of antiques, art, music and architecture”.

Some items of historic interest include Kerry Footballer, Joe Barrett’s GAA Medal Collection. This collection includes a number of medals such as All Ireland Winners Medals, Munster Senior Title Medals, National League, Inter Provincial (The Railway Cup), The Tailteann Games Medals, Memorial Tournament Fund Raiser, Inter County Football & Hurling (Co. Kerry), War of Independence  Medal. At the age of 15 Barrett became a member of the Irish Volunteers. Following the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty he took to the Republican side in the subsequent Civil War. He was arrested and interned in September of 1922 where he suffered severe hardship. He embarked on a 22 day Hunger Strike whilst imprisoned. He died on the 2nd June 1952, aged 49. Deemed a truly unique collection of medals directly linked to an icon and stalwart of the GAA, it is a collection of a lifetime (est. €30,000 – €40,000).

In the grand tradition of GAA memorabilia from Ireland’s most renowned sporting legends, the auction also includes a wealth of hurling medals, 21 in total, belonging to Tipperary and Dublin midfielder Philip Shanahan. Remembered as one of hurling’s finest midfielders, Philip Shanahan’s collection consists of a number of medals documenting his successful career. Medals included are The All Ireland Medal Group (three in a row-Tipperary), The Railway Cup Medal Group (four in a row for the Munster Province) and other related medals (est. €20,000- €30,000).

Another item that should pique the interest of GAA enthusiasts is “Cuchulainn’s Son Hurley”, which is reputed by tradition to have been one of the hurling sticks used by Wexford GAA Legend, Nickey Rackard during the 1955 All-Ireland Final The item is considered a unique memento from a historic day for both Wexford and Irish GAA, belonging to one of the greatest ever players (est. €350 – 500).

The sale also includes a number of sporting programmes for sale is a rare soccer programme from ‘The day Nazi Germany played Ireland’ in October 1936 which saw Ireland play Germany in Dalymount Park (est. €300 – €400). There are also many scarce GAA programmes for sale spanning five decades.

Speaking about the auction, George Fonsie Mealy Jnr., Director of Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers said, “We have a long tradition of bringing very special items to auction. Items that have great historical, cultural, artistic or literary value each with its own special story. We are delighted to be bringing this special collection to the market; it will give historical and sporting collectors and fans the opportunity to own their own unique part of history. Already we have received great interest in this auction, from home as well as Irish diaspora looking to own a piece of history.”

Outside of the various GAA memorabilia, there are a number of historical artefacts and other collectibles to go under the hammer, such as ‘The Kevin Barry Case’ (est. €250-€350). Once belonging to Kevin Barry, a former member of Fianna Éireann and the IRA, the bag is a historical artefact that was reputed to have been used for dispatches around the city of Dublin. The auction also includes a rare Japanese toy, a 1950’s Ranger Robot, comes in its original cardboard decorated box (est. €350- €500).

Music lovers are in for a treat as the auction offers up a small and comprehensive archive of Records, Ephemera, Programmes, and Posters all relating to Phil Lynott & Thin Lizzy. The collection includes Thin Lizzy from the beginning including their First L.P. “The Farmer,” as well as others. Thin Lizzy formed in 1970 played their First Gig at Cloghran National School, Swords, Co. Dublin on the 18th February that very same year. The band released their first single “The Farmer” on the 31st July 1970 (est. €1000 – €1500). The sale also features many books and original manuscripts from noted Irish Authors such as Beckett, Heaney, Joyce and Kavanagh. Particularly interesting is the copy of Ulysses, illustrated and signed by the famous artist, Henri Matisse (est. €1500 – €2000).

Viewing will take place on Monday 26th September from 1pm – 6pm and Tuesday 27th September from 10.30 – 6pm in the Ormonde Hotel, Co. Kilkenny. The sale will take place also in the Kilkenny Ormonde Hotel on Wednesday 28th September at 10.30am. For more information on the items up for auction, please visit www.fonsiemealy.ie

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