Chair of Dublin City Council’s Culture Strategic Policy Committee, Cllr Mary Fitzpatrick, said today that she had asked Dublin City Council to examine bidding for the archive of writer and artist Christy Brown, which goes up for auction in London today, but that after careful appraisal the authority had concluded it is not in a position to bid for the material.
Cllr. Fitzpatrick said she had raised the auction of the archive as she felt Brown’s native Dublin was in danger of losing a valuable legacy of many of his creative works and every effort should be made to bring the collection on offer back to Ireland.
Cllr Fitzpatrick, the Dublin Fianna Fáil candidate in the European election and a member of Dublin City Council for the past 10 years, said it was disappointing that no Irish cultural authority or institution appeared to be in a position to bid for the collection of writings, poems, letters and painting by Brown.
Brown – whose life was depicted in the Oscar-winning film My Left Foot – died 33 years ago when he was just 49. He was born with cerebral palsy and became an acclaimed writer and artist after he learned to draw and write using his left foot. The archive goes up for auction today at the London auction house Bonhams.
Responding to the request to the City Council from Cllr. Fitzpatrick, Mr. Brendan Kenny, Assistant City Manager said the collection has an undeniable Dublin connection, and as such would be suitable to the Dublin City Library and Archive collections. However, the cost is extremely high and there is no provision in the Libraries budget for 2014 for purchases such as this.