Many people who live in Ireland did not know Ireland had crown jewels. This is partly because Ireland is a democracy with a president as the head of state and partly because the last King of Ireland dates back to the 12th Century before the British invaded Ireland. The other reason for lack of knowledge about these jewels is because the Jewels were stolen in 1907.The Irish Crown Jewels are not the Irish equivalent of the English Crown Jewels which are held in the Tower of London, but were the insignia of the Order of St Patrick which was a chivalric order founded by the government in 1783. The Jewels were presented to the Order of St Patrick by King William IV in 1831.
It is widely understood that the jewels were made up from diamonds belonging to Queen Charlotte.In 1905 the Order of St Patrick was revised, and the jewels were to be stored in a safe in Dublin Castle in a newly built strong room. In a very Irish twist, it turned out that the safe that was going to be put in the strong room couldn't fit through the door.
It was decided that Arthur Vicars who was the Officer of Arms of Dublin Castle would keep the jewels in his office. Seven keys to this office were held by various vicars and staff members and a further two to the safe which was now stored in this office.On July 6 1907 it was discovered that the Irish Crown Jewels were missing, days before King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra were due to visit. An enquiry was held, but didn't have the power to subpoena people for questioning. Vicars was disgraced and was later shot dead by the IRA in 1921.
In a strange twist, the story doesn't stop there? While it maybe the case that the jewels were never recovered, they were offered to the Irish Free State in 1927 for £5000. It is very possible that the Then Taoiseach WT Cosgrave bought back the jewels in secret. Extensive searching of the National Archives never revealed anything. To this day we do not know whether the jewels were bought back of where they are.
.Ronan Menton is the webmaster for a number of travel related websites and has been for some time in Ireland, associated with search engine optimisation in the Irish travel industry. He spends two months a year in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and now sees it as his second home. Among the many sites he is currently working on are the following: Car Rental in Ireland and International Car Rentals.
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By: Ronan Menton