A shotgun similar to this one was stolen
GARDAI are investigating the robbery of a 150-year-old double barrel gun which was stolen from the display window of an auctioneer’s office.
The culprit threw a brick through the front window of Pat O’Donovan’s office in Newcastle West in the early hours of Tuesday morning, before making away with the historic weapon.
The gun, which dates back to the 1860s, was likely to have been used in the Fenian conflict of the same decade.
“There were a number of other items on the window including an old sword, but they weren’t touched,” said Pat O’Donovan.
The ornamental gun has an estimated worth of between €600 and €800, and was destined to go up for auction.
It had been bought at a car boot sale, discovered to be a valuable artefact and ended up in the antiques circuit.
“The brick went straight through the office, literally 20 feet in. There was glass all over the whole office, broken glass all over the place,” he added.
Mr O’Donovan was alerted to the burglary when he received a phone call from someone in a neighbouring business.
The gun is not in working order, but gardai are concerned it could be used as a means to intimidate.
“It was not working. It was in perfect-looking order, but the shooting parts had been all removed,” said Mr O’Donovan.
Auctioneers are entitled to sell antique firearms when their function is ornamental, as they are exempt from the normal rules under the Firearms Act.
It had been hoped that the shotgun would have been used in some of the commemorative Fenian reenactments that are taking place in the county during 2017 — the 150th anniversary of the 1867 Fenian rising.