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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 June 2007, 06:29 GMT 07:29 UK
IRA figurine banned from eBay

By Kelly Bonner
BBC Northern Ireland

"Whatever it is ...you can get it on eBay," so says the advertisement for the world's best-known auction website.

Not, it seems, if you fall foul of eBay's "prohibited item" policy - as happened to an American historical figurine company.

Banned figurine
The figurine of an IRA volunteer from 1921 was banned from eBay

Valiant Enterprises were told their model soldier of an IRA volunteer from 1921 had been removed from the eBay site because the figure "violated its hateful or discriminatory policy".

The eBay policy states: "Sellers may not list items that promote or glorify hatred, violence, racial or religious intolerance, or items that promote organisations with such views."

Other banned models include figures depicting Adolf Hitler, Heinrich Himmler and Joseph Goebbels.

Tim Neckermann of Valiant Enterprises said he did not agree with eBay's decision to ban the figurine from its site.

'Revolutionary figures'

"During this period, the Irish were fighting British oppression," he said.

"I would hope that eBay will not remove any of our American Revolutionary figures for the same reason, we were fighting for our freedom."

Sinn Fein's Alex Maskey said the decision to ban the item was unjustified.

He said: "To ban important historical facts like the Irish War of Independence is just bizarre. Especially when that time is history has been recognised and commemorated by the Irish government".

Mr Maskey also said that he found it offensive that the material was described by eBay as "hateful".

"The IRA during that period in Irish history are held in high regard by the Irish government and the Irish people," he added.

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