Belfast Telegraph

Home Rule crisis rifle sells for £65

A 1914 UVF rifle — excavated from the grounds of the Maze prison 30 years ago — went under the hammer yesterday for a mere £65.

The historic piece was one of nearly 200 lots sold at a fundraising auction.

The event — organised by the Orange Order — raised £2,000 for Queen’s LOL 1845.

Eagle-eyed collectors crammed into Co Down’s Listullycurran Orange hall to bid for 186 items, which had been donated by local people. They included the partially-intact UVF weapon dating back to the time of the Home Rule crisis.

Part of a cache of rifles smuggled into Ulster by the fledgling UVF in 1914, the rifle was dug up at the Maze during the 1980s.

As fundraising auctions go, yesterday’s was unusual.

Among the 186 lots was a King William III thimble — snapped up for £10 — and a replica 1913 UVF dummy training rifle, which sold for £25.

There was no shortage of memorabilia for monarchists.

A King George coronation plate sold for £10, while a plate marking the Queen’s Diamond jubilee fetched £25.

Drew Nelson, the Orange Order’s grand secretary, said: “It’s the start of the decade of centenaries and therefore a lot of these lots were timely.”

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