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Jackie Kennedy's letters are pulled from auction

BY Ed Carty

Secret letters from Jacqueline Kennedy to an Irish priest have been pulled from a controversial auction sale.

Correspondence from the wife of US President John F Kennedy revealing the widow's private and innermost thoughts had been expected to sell next month for around £2.4m.

The letters, which strike a remarkable confessional tone, began in 1950 and continued until the death in 1964 of Fr Joseph Leonard, a Vincentian cleric based at All Hallows College in Dublin.

The 130 hand-written pages, hidden in a safe for the last 50 years, carry a unique insight into Mrs Kennedy's private and personal thoughts, and document the battles she had with her faith following her husband's assassination.

The collection is the closest thing to an autobiography.

No formal reason has been given for the sale being cancelled but it follows an ownership dispute and questions in some circles over whether it is morally right to sell the deepest musings of a woman who lived her life in public but put an enormous value on privacy.

All Hallows are in discussions with the Kennedys over how and where the letters should be held.

The letters were due to be sold by Sheppard's Irish Auction House, of Durrow, Co Laois, after being discovered when rare books were being valued for sale.

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