Gerry Adams’ Spitting Image snapped up by pub

The Gerry Adams puppet and the 'Spitting Image' puppet of Nelson Mandela

HE was once the only Gerry Adams you could hear talking on TV.

Now the puppet of the Sinn Fein leader that starred in ITV series ‘Spitting Image’ from the 1980s will soon have a home in the Dublin mountains after it was bought by the owner of Johnnie Fox’s pub.

The Glencullen bar paid €1,560 for the latex puppet that had a starring role in the satirical UK TV series from 1984 to 1996.

“We had bids from Northern Ireland, Britainand America. They made the Gerry Adamspuppet do some very peculiar things on ‘Spitting Image’ so I’m glad it’s all over for him,” auctioneer Ian Whyte joked to theIrish Independent about the puppet that reached a third higher than its guide price.

The popularity of the Adams doll owed much to the broadcasting ban on Sinn Fein that was lifted by the British government in 1994 and the Irish government a year earlier.

The Gerry Adams likeness, which featured full size glasses, was one of only two ‘Spitting Image’ puppets based on Irish politicians.

The Ian Paisley doll was sold to a mystery bidder at Bonhams auction house in London for £1,080 (€1,320) in December 2010.

But the Adams doll won’t be alone in Johnnie Fox’s, as the same buyers also purchased two other ‘Spitting Images’, Nelson Mandela for €1,800, almost twice its guide price, and a snake-like former northern secretary Peter Mandelson for €600.

“We get a lot of international tourists visiting Johnnie Fox’s, and we think they will enjoying seeing all three puppets,” said Wayne McMahon, whose family own the pub.

However, ‘Titanic fatigue’ was blamed for the withdrawal at €19,000 of Lot 172, a historic telegram sent to the ‘BelfastTelegraph’ by the Press Association on April 15, 1912, just three hours after the ship had sunk, which resulted in them being one of the first newspapers to report the tragedy. A US buyer is said to be negotiating a private sale for the telegram, which had a guide price of between €20,000 and €30,000.

A ticket stub for the launch of the Titanic 100 years ago in Belfast was sold at a separate auction in Howth yesterday for €1,000, a quarter of its €4,000 guide price.

Source: Ken Sweeney,


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