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George Mealy Snr, who is retiring from auctioneering.

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Principal George Mealy Snr, a well-known and popular figure on the Irish and UK provincial art and antiques scene, has chosen to retire and his sons David and George Gerard do not wish to manage the business.

The firm was set up by Mealy’s father, also called George Mealy (1911-78), in 1934. It went on to host some of Ireland’s most significant country house sales including the events at Abbeyleix House for Viscount de Vesci in 1995, Luggala House in Wicklow for Guinness heir the Hon Garech Browne in 2006 and Mount Congreve in County Waterford (in association with Christie’s) in 2012.

Final sale

The final sale at Mealy’s Fine Art took place in June and the firm finally closed its doors on August 3. The 10,000 sq ft premises, based in an industrial park just outside Castlecomer and owned by George Snr, may now be rented out.

George Snr will continue in the business by offering valuations for insurance purposes and an art advisory service, promising a new website on which he will sell small objects online.

Mealy will also refer business to the firm established by his brother in 2008 on Chatsworth Street on the other side of Castlecomer. Specialising in rare books and fine art, Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers is now managed by Fonsie’s son, George Fonsie Mealy.