A huge archive of papers belonging to the late loyalist paramilitary leader turned peacemaker William 'Plum' Smith has been sold in a Dublin auction.
And the former Red Hand Commando's collection - which included documents related to secret loyalist talks with the IRA and letters from American President Bill Clinton - went for nearly twice what the auctioneers had estimated.
Whyte's had predicted the ex- Progressive Unionist Party chairman's archive would fetch up between €5,000 and €7,000 but in the end it realised €13,000.
Whyte's described the material gathered by Smith, who chaired the news conference in Belfast in 1994 when the loyalist ceasefire was announced, as a "very important archive of immense interest to historians".
Auctioneer Ian Whyte said a number of bidders were interested in the collection which was eventually bought by "an institution" north of the border but he wouldn't elaborate.
Smith, who died at the age of 62 in June 2016 after a battle against cancer, kept a large assortment of papers from the peace process including the background documents to the all-party negotiations which he took part in at Stormont in October 1997.
There were also "extensive PUP minutes from peace talks" from 1995 to 1998 and what were described as "messages passed between the British government and the Provisional movement in February and November 1993".
Also in the collection were accounts of meetings that former UVF leader Gusty Spence and Smith had with the Official IRA and the Provisional IRA in 1994.
Smith, convicted in his teens of the attempted murder of a Catholic in Belfast, had first come under the influence of Spence in the Maze prison where he was advocating a more peaceful way forward for the paramilitaries.
Smith, who learnt Irish in the jail, went on become a hugely influential figure in the peace process and after his death Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness paid tribute to him saying: "I valued his commitment and contribution to peace."
Smith's archive included an account of Bill Clinton's remarks about peace during a visit to Northern Ireland in 1995 and in his own handwritten notes the loyalist wrote: "Clinton was a great orator and made a speech that had everyone in awe including me."
The feelings were apparently mutual.
Also in the collection was a letter from Clinton to Smith praising his work in Northern Ireland.
Senator George Mitchell who chaired the talks that led to the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) in 1998 was also an admirer of Smith and was photographed with him on several occasions including on a visit to the Peace Wall in west Belfast.
He said of Smith after the GFA was sealed: "It was a pleasure to work with you in the multi-party negotiations. I am sure there were times when you felt discouraged (as we all did) but in the end your perseverance and commitment prevailed. I will always regard my participation in this process as one of the most meaningful things I've ever done."
Interestingly Senator Mitchell, who'd obviously had a secretary type out the letter, later scribbled out 'William' from the greeting and wrote 'Plum' over it.
Other letters in the archive to Smith came from Northern Ireland Office Ministers Mo Mowlam and Adam Ingram
In the archive were Smith's handwritten minutes of meetings between the Government and the PUP. The archive also included a 'UDA detainees song book' from 1974 and a lengthy directive from Spence after disturbances in the Maze in 1976 as well as receipts for life prisoners' food parcels.
Whyte's notes about Smith's archive recalled how he spoke of being humbled after the mother of the man he had tried to kill attended a talk he gave and said she was impressed by the work he was doing to end the violence.
Ian Whyte said he met Smith on a number of occasions and recalled how he once came to Dublin with other loyalist ex-prisoners to see bunches of keys from the Maze which were going under the hammer.
Mr Whyte said: "A few former republican prisoners were also there and it was amazing to see them and the loyalists having tea and swapping war stories in a nearby cafe. It brought a whole new meaning to the peace process. And as I was auctioning the keys one of the ex-prisoners shouted that he wished he'd had them 30 years ago."
In 2012 Whyte's sold Gusty Spence's archive for €6,200. His collection spanned 30 years and included agreements with other loyalist groups and accounts of talks with the IRA in 1974.
In the latest Whyte's 'Eclectic Collector' sale a rare copy of the 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic sold for €190,000.
It's thought that only 50 copies of the 500 that were printed under the supervision of James Connolly have survived.
Also in the sale a copy of a Northern Ireland Assembly commemorative booklet signed by the main politicians including Tony Blair, Bertie Ahern, the Rev Ian Paisley, John Hume and Martin McGuinness fetched €4,200, twice the auctioneers' original estimate.
In the same auction a briefcase which Prime Minister Tony Blair used during the Good Friday Agreement discussions in Belfast went for €1,700. It was donated 20 years ago by the ex-PM to a charity auction for Combat Aids in Africa and bought by Irish singer Chris De Burgh who later gave it to another charity based in Dublin.
In the past Whyte's have auctioned a wide range of historical items linked to Northern Ireland which are often in big demand from America. A pay phone from the Maze used by prisoners to contact relatives ended up in a bar in New York City.