Thief returns stolen property to National Trust house

By Caelainn Barr | 23 December 2009
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Man holding silver cigarette case

The initials on the case, DCL, stand for David Lowry Cole, the 6th Earl of Enniskillen.

A thief has come forward to solve the mystery of a cigarette case stolen from a National Trust House in Co. Fermanagh.

The 1950s silver case was stolen from Florence Court in 2005 during a tour of the 18th century manor house.

A criminal case was opened but it wasn’t resolved until last week when the culprit returned the item.

The thief wrote in a letter to the curator: “I am so appalled when I think of my outrageous behaviour and can only comfort myself slightly in the knowledge that I no longer feel the urge to take things that do not belong to me.

“I realise how splendidly the National Trust engages in Ireland and England minding wonderful houses and properties so that they can be enjoyed and the last thing they need are people stealing items or causing any other kind of damage.

“I am sorry that I do not have the courage to declare my name.”

Large country house on lawns

Florence Court is located outside Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh.

The cigarette case belonged to the manor’s former resident, David Lowry Cole, the 6th Earl of Enniskillen.

Florence Court holds a large 18th century manor house and gardens. It is located 8 miles outside Enniskillen in Co. Fermanagh. The grounds hold a large sawmill, an icehouse and a thatched heather house.

“The appeal of so many National Trust houses is that they are displayed as they were when owned by many generations of families, often with their belongings, enabling our visitors to enjoy seeing the rooms as they were originally lived in,” said Jim Chestnutt, Florence Court’s Property Manager.

“We are grateful to the person who has expressed remorse over this crime and has returned the case it to its rightful home.”

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