Rare library book returned after 82yrs
A RARE book has been returned to an Ulster library – 82 years after it was borrowed.
The White Owl was first taken out of the public library in Gaoth Dobhair, Co Donegal, in 1937.
Staff could hardly believe their eyes on Friday when the book penned by Anni MP Smithson was returned.
Relatives of the borrower it were having a house clearance at their home in Falcarragh in the west of the county when they came across it.
A note inside from Donegal County Council warns people to return books within 14 days and to report if there has been any disease in the house where it has been.
Copies of the book, which was first published by The Talbot Press in Dublin and Cork, are on sale for almost £300.
Smithson’s novels feature in Brian Friel’s Dancing At Lughnasa. She was a Dublin-born Protestant who converted to Catholicism in 1907 and became a fervent republican.
A spokesman for Donegal County Libraries said of the return, “Better late than never”.
Thankfully for the family who returned the novel, the Irish Government scrapped library fines for late book returns on January 1 this year – or else they could have faced a fine of £1,200.
VALUABLE The White Owl book