A plan to auction a lock of the hair of Michael Collins has been abandoned after his grand niece said that she is appalled by the sale.

The Irish Times
reports the item is now to be donated to the National Museum.

A former Member of the European Parliament (MEP), Mary Banotti said that the proper place for such items was in a museum, or interred with his body in Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin.

Adams auction house was to sell the lock of hair, which was taken from his dead body by his sister Kitty, on Wednesday.

Speaking on RTE’s Morning Ireland radio program, Banotti said she was ''slightly appalled'' by the move.

"I'm fully aware that taking locks of hair was part of the culture for many years, but not selling it for a huge price in an auction, that's really where I feel it shows a certain amount of disrespect and insensitivity.

Kieran O'Boyle of Adams auction house had told RTE that selling the item would help ensure that it was preserved.

“In historical context it was quite common to take locks of hair of loved ones, as mementos and keep sakes,” O'Boyle of Adams told RTE.

“This particular lock of hair was taken by his own sister in 1922, when his body laid in state”

Kitty held onto it until the 1950s when it was gifted to the present owner, a friend of the family.The owner was now elderly and wanted it to have safe keeping.

“It comes in an envelope in Kitty Sheridan’s own hand writing,” O’Boyle added.

It was estimated to sell for €3,000-€5,000 ($3,936-$6,561).