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For some time now, Adam’s have been building a reputation for works relating to the Rising, ahead of the centenary celebrations nine years away.

The ‘Independence’ sale held in conjunction with fellow Irish auctioneers Mealy’s in 2006 (another was held this year), was a factor in the grandchildren of Joe Stanley approaching Adam’s with the latest documents.

Stanley may not be a familiar name to those with a cursory knowledge of Irish republican history, but he was the Dublin printer and publisher who acted as unofficial press agent for one of the main architects of independence, Padraig Pearse.

What is now known as the Stanley Collection comprises 480 manuscripts, letters, drawings and printed material from the 1916-1921 period.

By far the most important are what are recognised as the first two documents of the Irish Republic, both handwritten by Pearse in the General Post Office where the IRA men were besieged by the forces of the Crown.

The first document is the original draft of Pearse’s first communiqué from the GPO accounting the events of the Rising and publicly declaring that an Irish Republic had been established.

Published in the Irish War News bulletin, Volume One dated April 25, 1916, this was the first official document of the newly declared Provisional Irish Government.

The second article is Pearse’s original handwritten draft of a proclamation informing the citizens of Dublin that the Irish Republic had been established, which Stanley then published as a handbill on April 26.

The descendants of Mr Stanley hoped the documents would go to the State and asked Adam’s to negotiate a deal with the National Museum of Ireland which now intends to display them in a special exhibition to be opened by the Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern.