82 years af­ter its due date, book is re­turned to li­brary

The Irish Mail on Sunday - - NEWS - Mail Re­porter

A LI­BRARY book checked out three years be­fore World War Two be­gun has made its long-awaited re­turn to a li­brary af­ter more than 80 years.

The novel, The Stolen Cel­lina by Alan Thomas, was last bor­rowed from Lim­er­ick City Li­brary in Novem­ber 1936, at a time when the Span­ish Civil War was rag­ing and RTÉ only broad­casted on the ra­dio.

Its home­com­ing to The Gra­nary on Michael Street, dur­ing a week in which li­braries across the coun­try abol­ished late fees was a ‘pure co­in­ci­dence’, ac­cord­ing to city li­brar­ian Marie Stakelum who helped with the book’s re­turn.

The novel and its no­table Lim­er­ick stamp was dis­cov­ered by a ‘lovely lady’ in Dún Laoghaire dur­ing a spring clean. Ms Stakelum ex­plained: ‘She has some re­la­tions still in Lim­er­ick so she de­cided that she would call in. We just thought that it was such a nice thing for her to have done, we wanted to cel­e­brate it.’

Should the li­brary have brought the woman to book on the novel’s late fees, she could have faced a fine worth €1,490 in to­day’s equiv­a­lent.

‘To be clear, we are not charg­ing her and we would not have,’ Ms Stakelum added.

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