Archive for August 22nd, 2012

August 22,

The Death of Michael Collins on this day in Irish History

August 22: TODAY in Irish History:


Today in Irish History: Curated by Conor Cunneen IrishmanSpeaks

Chicago Motivational Humorous Business Speaker, Author and History buff.


For the Love of Being Irish

BUY Author signed copy of For the Love of Being Irish For a unique perspective on Ireland featuring History and Humor.


August 22: TODAY in Irish History:

1922: Michael Collins is killed in an ambush by Anti-Treaty forces in Co. Cork. He was thirty one years old.

Michael Colllins at funeral of Arthur griffith

Michael Collins – 10 days before his death at funeral of Arthur Griffith


It is impossible to convey the impact Collins had / has on Irish history on this site so I’ll provide numerous different links to help portray a brilliant, ruthless, brave and divisive figure in Irish history.

Maybe the best compliment to Michael Collins “The Big Fella,” who fought in the 1916 Rising and forced Britain to the negotiation table, where as he wrote prophetically ” early this morning I signed my death warrant” comes from Tom Barry who fought against Collins in the Civil War.

Barry recollected hearing of Collins’ death while imprisoned in Kilmainham Jail by the government of Michael Collins.

“I saw a most remarkable thing …. We heard the hubbub outside……… there was about 1,000 of us, prisoners in Kilmainham Jail…  We heard the hubbub outside……… I saw a most remarkable sight.  There was about seven or eight hundred men and they were all down on their knees saying the rosary for the repose of the soul of Michael Collins. One time he was their leader against the British, then he was the Commander in Chief of the enemy forces.”


MUST READING:  New York Times Report on Death of Michael  Collins





Michael Collins and Harry Boland Croke Park 1921

Michael Collins (left) “messing around” with his best friend Harry Boland at Croke Park 1921.

Both men were on the run from Britain at this time during the Irish War of Independence.

Despite their friendship, they would fight on different sides during the Civil War where both would die.

This photo and much other excellent material on Collins can be seen at General Michael Collins 


READ: Michael Collins Bio – M. A. Hopkinson, Dictionary of Irish Biography


BBC Documentary on Death of Michael Collins


De Valera’s Involvement in Death of Michael Collins.

Despite numerous conspiracy theories, there is no clear evidence that De Valera had direct involvement in Collins’ death. This EXCELLENT ARTICLE by former Irish Press journalist Michael Mills brings together many of the conflicting recollections of the day although the use of the term “assassination” in the article might be misleading. Collins was killed in a fire-fight during a vicious civil war when Irishmen on both sides gave no quarter to former colleagues whom they would have died for just months previously during the War of Independence.



It seems we will never know who fired the fatal bullet. Numerous theories abound as to who killed Collins. A good overview of the reported events is at SarasMichaelCollinssite


Churchill wrote after the death of “The Big Fella, “Michael Collins was a man of dauntless courage.”


Lloyed George at Today in Irish History

Lloyd George on Collins. “His engaging personality won friendships even amongst those who met him as foes and to all who met him, the news of his death comes as a personal sorrow.”


Reaction of LLOYD GEORGE and WINSTON CHURCHILL to death of Michael Collins.


On August 25th, George Bernard Shaw wrote to Hannie Collins, Michael’s sister:

George Bernard Shaw at today in Irish History

George Bernard Shaw

“My Dear Miss Collins—
Don’t let them make you miserable about it: how could a born soldier die better than at the victorious end of a good fight, falling to the shot of another Irishman—a damned fool, but all the same an Irishman who thought he was fighting for Ireland—‘A Roman to Roman’? I met Michael for the first and last time on Saturday last, and am very glad I did. I rejoice in his memory, and will not be so disloyal to it as to snivel over his valiant death. So tear up your mourning and hang up your brightest colours in his honour; and let us all praise God that he did not die in a snuffy bed of a trumpery cough, weakened by age, and saddened by the disappointments that would have attended his work had he lived”


Want to learn more about Ireland? See these images and more in the acclaimed For the Love of Being Irish

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For the Love of Being Irish written by Chicago based Corkman Conor Cunneen and illustrated by Mark Anderson is an A-Z of all things Irish. This is a book that contains History, Horror, Humor, Passion, Pathos and Lyrical Limericks that will have you giving thanks (or wishing you were) For the Love of Being Irish

Watch For the Love of Being Irish author Conor Cunneen – IrishmanSpeaks on his Youtube channel IrishmanSpeaks. Laugh and Learn.


This history is written by Irish author, business keynote speaker and award winning humoristIrishmanSpeaks – Conor Cunneen. If you spot any inaccuracies or wish to make a comment, please don’t hesitate to contact us via the comment button.

Visit Conor’s YouTube channel IrishmanSpeaks to Laugh and Learn. Tags: Best Irish Gift, Creative Irish Gift, Unique Irish Gifts, Irish Books, Irish Authors, Today in Irish History TODAY IN IRISH HISTORY (published by IrishmanSpeaks)