August 22: TODAY in Irish History:
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Snippets of Irish History by Conor Cunneen IrishmanSpeaks
Conor is a Chicago based Motivational Humorous Business Speaker, Author and History buff.
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1922: Michael Collins is killed in an ambush by Anti-Treaty forces in Co. Cork. He was thirty one years old.
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… 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
MUST READING: The AMBUSH
MICHAEL COLLINS, HARRY BOLAND: FRIENDS, ENEMIES. KILLED IN CIVIL WAR
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.
WHO FIRED THE FATAL SHOT?
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.”
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
“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”
WATCH: A Short History of Ireland
Want to learn more about Ireland? See these images and more in the acclaimed For the Love of Being Irish
This history is written by Irish author, business keynote speaker and award winning humorist IrishmanSpeaks – Conor Cunneen. If you spot any inaccuracies or wish to make a comment, please don’t hesitate to contact us via the comment button.
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