Long read

Rare li­brary book re­turned af­ter 82yrs

Sunday Mirror (Northern Ireland) - - News - BY STEPHEN MAGUIRE ir­[email protected]

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

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