Library Book Returned 64 Years Overdue in Ireland

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Malaga libraries give away books
The book was taken out in 1957. Image: Photopin

A library in Ireland said a book recently returned was more than 64 years overdue.

THE Monaghan Town Library said the book, The Hedge and the Horse by Hilaire Belloc and illustrated by GK Chesterton, had been checked out January 11, 1957, and was finally returned in late May.

The library stopped charging late fees in 2019, but at the 1957 rate, the book would have amassed about €2,000 in fines. Why the book took so long to be returned or where it was kept since 1957 is not known, said librarian Kay Cassidy.

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“A library book recently returned after 64 years to Monaghan Library! Luckily we’ve no fines any more! See rule 2 re fines. Rule 3 on injuries to the poor books! Rule 4 is of particular interest these days too!! I wonder had they 72 hours quarantine back then?” the local library published on its Instagram account.

The fourth rule of lending in 1957 asked book borrowers to inform the library if any infectious diseases had occurred in their house while they had the book out. Ireland is just emerging from one the strictest coronavirus lockdowns in Europe.


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Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.

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