Belfast Telegraph

Stolen rugby shirt to line out at auction

By David Whelan

Two brothers are celebrating their business' birthday after being reunited with a piece of sporting history stolen from under their noses.

Ronan and Edmund Byrne bought a signed Ireland rugby shirt at an auction many years ago. They had planned to re- auction it for Action Cancer when Brian O'Driscoll, one of Ireland's greatest players, retired.

But they were left dismayed when it was stolen while on display at their cafe, California Coffee on Arthur Street in Belfast.

Then fate intervened on the 14th anniversary of the cafe opening, Edmund revealed.

"My brother happened to be in another auction in Belfast when he spotted the shirt. He rang me in a panic and said: 'I think they're selling our shirt'.

"We contacted the auctioneer and the police, and right enough it was the exact shirt that was taken from the shop."

A suspect was identified thanks to CCTV, and now the shirt is going under the hammer by right. Bidding information can be found at www.facebook.com/ californiacoffee

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