A Derry man completed a remarkable collection of autographs of political leaders on Saturday when he collected the signatures of Sinn Féin leaders Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness.
Hugh O’Boyle’s autograph book reads like a who’s who of Irish republican leaders and includes the names of two presidents, several taoisigh, and a number of IRA chiefs of staff.
It also includes the names of several prominent veterans of the Easter Rising, the War of Independence, and the Civil War, including leading IRA figures Dan Breen and Sean Moylan.
It also features the signature of Margaret Pearse, sister of the executed leader of the 1916 Rising, Patrick Pearse.
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness added their names to the book alongside previous leaders of republicanism, Eamonn de Valera, and other political leaders such as Sean T O’Kelly, Sean Lemass, and William T Cosgrave.
O’Kelly, Lemass, and de Valera all served terms as presidents of Ireland while other signatories, such as Frank Aiken, served as the IRA’s Chief of Staff.
It also features the signature of Nobel prizewinner, John Hume.
Mr O’Boyle said he was “delighted” to complete his collection with the signatures of Mr Adams and Mr McGuinness.
“It brings it right up to date in terms of the leaders of republicanism. There was only a few pages left in the book so it’s a nice way to round it off with the current leaders,” he said.
The Derry man said he got the autograph book from a house clearance in Carlisle Road.