Belfast Telegraph

Martin McGuinness matchstick tower sold for £4,500

By Louise Hogan

Irish presidential hopeful Martin McGuinness may now regret donating a round tower he built from matchsticks while in Portlaoise prison, after it went under the hammer at a weekend auction.

A New Jersey collector snapped up the piece of art for €5,200 (£4,500) over the phone to Whyte's Auctioneers in Dublin on Saturday. It had been estimated to fetch up to €1,500 (£1,310).

The gold-painted tower presented to the late Derry-born priest Fr Jimmy Shiels was made in 1974 after Mr McGuinness was convicted of being a member of the IRA in February of that year.

A collection of Press photographs dating from 1980 to 1994 of INLA leader Dominic ‘Mad Dog' McGlinchey, including a picture of the scene where he was shot dead in a phone box , were a “surprise” hotly-contested lot.

They were knocked down for €4,000 (£3,500) to a major collector of photographs who had flown over from the UK for the auction.

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