Bloody Sunday ticket sells for over €5,000

A piece of Irish history sold for just over €5,000 as an auction bidder snapped up a rare ticket for the football game that ended in tragedy at Croke Park on Bloody Sunday in 1920.

The ticket had been kept in the pages of a book on the shelf at a family home in Co Clare until they brought it in to local auctioneer Aidan Foley recently.

On the morning of Nov 21, 1920, IRA gunmen murdered 14 British intelligence agents and other members of the Crown forces in Dublin. That afternoon, police and soldiers turned up to the match between Tipperary and Dublin and 15 people were shot dead, including Tipperary fullback Michael Hogan, a woman and two boys.

The auction of the match ticket had bidders on the telephone as well as an internet audience, with bidding opening at €3,000 starting on the lot just after lunchtime. Just over two minutes later, the bidding was over and the hammer fell at a price of €5,400.

With auctioneers’ fees also payable, the cost rose to €6,500 but a spokesperson at The Auction Rooms in Sixmilebridge said the winning bidder was delighted with his purchase.

The sale is the second of a Bloody Sunday ticket at auction in recent years, but the price fell well below the upper estimate of €7,000 in Mr Foley’s auction catalogue. In March 2007, a month after the controversial hosting of the England rugby team and the playing of “God Save the Queen” at Croke Park, another ticket from the fateful game fetched €7,500 at a Dublin auction house.

The significance of Bloody Sunday was marked by the visit of Queen Elizabeth II of England to Croke Park during her first trip to Ireland last May. The events that disrupted the match at Croke Park on Nov 21, 1920 marked a turning point in the War of Independence, with the subsequent rise in support for the Republican movement bringing about a truce in 1921.

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