Fianna Fáil Mayor of Bandon, Cllr Gillian Coughlan, has called for the state to ensure that a key primary source of history from the War of Independence be kept in the public domain.

The Keyes McDonnell collection is due to come up for auction tomorrow but Cllr Coughlan says these key historical documents should be preserved.

Cllr Coughlan commented: “These papers are a vital insight into the struggle for Independence almost 100 years ago. The letters contain correspondence with elected officials lobbying for support while other letters detail the hardship endured by inmates in prison.

“The Keyes McDonnell family, based at Castlelack near Bandon, played a significant part not only at the very beginning of the campaign in 1913 but throughout the struggle. Their story is recorded in the book ‘There is a Bridge in Bandon’ and it is a unique record of that time, the documentation is a vital source of that history. With the new Junior Cert curriculum to come on stream, these documents would play a huge part in educating students of this significant period in Irish history.

“The collection will complete the picture for a lot of people studying that period and gives a greater understanding of what happened at the time. Preserving the collection wouldn’t cost a huge amount of money and I just hope that a solution can be found.”