20x estimate | 

Election poster of TD’s IRA aunt Mairead Farrell sells for €2,100 at auction

Mairéad Farrell, an unarmed member of the PIRA, was shot dead by the SAS in Gibraltar on 6 March 1988
The Mairéad Farrell poster

The Mairéad Farrell poster

Senan Molony

A TD has declined to comment after an election poster of her namesake IRA aunt sold for more than 20 times its high estimate at an auction.

Mairéad Farrell, the Sinn Féin TD for Galway West, is a niece of the Provisional IRA member of the same name who was gunned down without warning in Gibraltar on March 6, 1988.

An election poster for Ms Farrell from the 1981 Dáil “hunger strike” election campaign was for sale at a Whyte’s timed online auction on Saturday last.

It carried an estimate of €80 to €100.

Instead it sold for more than 20 times that, fetching €2,100 before the addition of buyer’s premium and VAT, which will push it past €2,500.

Ms Farrell is now the same age as her aunt when she died, at 31, in the company of IRA members Seán Savage and Daniel McCann, after a hidden SAS squad opened fire on the Rock as they carried out reconnaissance.

The unarmed IRA trio were believed to be scouting out a possible IRA car bomb attack on the changing of the guard ceremony.

The subsequent inquest into the killings turned into a trial of an alleged British government shoot-to-kill policy in relation to Republican paramilitaries at home and abroad.

While the inquest decided by a margin of nine to two that the trio had been lawfully killed, the European Court of Human Rights ruled in 1995 that the three had been unlawfully killed.

In 1981, Ms Farrell stood for election in the Republic.

She ran in Cork North Central, polling 2,751 votes, or 6pc of the valid poll.

Her TD niece said she didn’t see “an angle for me to comment on it”.


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