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Irish government rules out forced sale of Pearse letter

By Ed Carty

Irish officials have ruled out forcing the owner of Patrick Pearse's handwritten surrender letter to sell it to the state.

The note, which marked the end of the 1916 Rising, failed to reach the €1-1.5m (£840,000 to £1.25m) guide price at auction in December.

Heritage Minister Heather Humphreys then signed it into the Register of Cultural Objects - until now, a list of protected paintings - preventing the unidentified owner from taking it out of the Republic.

But officials have since dismissed speculation that a compulsory purchase was being lined up.

"The issue does not arise in this case," a spokesman said.

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