A Catholic College in Dublin stands to gain over A$1.4 million from the sale of private correspondence from the late Jacqueline Kennedy Onnasis to an Irish priest, reports The Tablet.
The cache of letters from the widow of the assassinated US President to Fr Joseph Leonard was discovered at All Hallows College, the Vincentian-run institution in Dublin, after staff attended an evaluation event hosted by Sheppard’s Irish Auction House in Durrow, County Laois, in February.
College staff brought to the auction house a rare medieval book from the college library and showed it to a local expert, Owen Felix O’Neill, who happened to be present. They invited Mr O’Neill to visit their library where he discovered Mrs Kennedy’s letters and postcards.
Mr O’Neill reportedly then passed them on to the auctioneers, who will oversee the sale in June and estimate that it will raise up to $1.46 million AUD.
All Hallows College refused to comment on the sale, referring media to the auctioneer, Philip Sheppard of the auction house. He said: 'We never disclose who a vendor or purchaser is as a matter of policy. They were consigned to us by a private source.'
The Irish Times, which this week published extracts from the letters, reported Mr O’Neill as having said 'the college desperately needs money.'
Photo: Fr Joseph with Jackie Kennedy