Posts tagged ‘michael collins’

January 7,

The Saddest Day in Irish History?

January 7: TODAY in Irish History:

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De Valera

Former allies: Civil War foes, Michael Collins and Eamonn De Valera

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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WATCH: A Short History of Ireland

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1922: Dail Approves Treaty – Civil War Looms

January 7th 1922 is possibly the saddest day in Irish history when a vote on the Treaty unfortunately set the scene for the Irish Civil War.

Thirty-two days after Michael Collins and Arthur Griffith sign the treaty in London  granting Ireland legislative and financial independence for the first time since 1800, the divided Dail votes on the Treaty: sixty-four for approval and fifty-seven against.

De Valera and his supporters’ refusal to accept the democratic vote of the Dail meant civil war was inevitable.

The debate took a huge emotional toll on the participants. The official Dail record states that at the end of the debate, when De Valera knew he had lost the vote:

“PRESIDENT DE VALERA: I would like my last word here to be this: we have had a glorious record for four years; it has been four years of magnificent discipline in our nation. The world is looking at us now——

(The President here breaks down).”

Civil war was now just months away between men who fought side by side during the War of Independence.
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First Dail Eireann – Happier Times

first dail eireann
Front Row: From Left to Right: Second Left Michael Collins (pro-Treaty), Cathal Brugha (anti), Arthur Griffith (pro) Eamonn De Valera (anti)

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The vote followed a vitriolic debate were each side accused the other of bad faith. Michael Collins—who when he signed the Treaty wrote “I have signed my death warrant—was a significant target for personal attacks from anti-Treaty members of the House.

Pro-Treatyite Cathal Brugha commented: “While the war was in progress I could not praise too highly the work done by the Head Quarters’ Staff. The Chief of Staff and each of the leaders of the subsections—the members of the Head Quarters’ Staff—were the best men we could get for the positions; each of them carried out efficiently, so far as I know, the work that was entrusted to him they worked conscientiously and patriotically for Ireland without seeking any notoriety, with one exception; whether he is responsible or not for the notoriety I am not going to say (cries of “Shame” and “Get on with the Treaty”). There is little more for me to say. One member was specially selected by the Press and the people to put him into a position which he never held; he was made a romantic figure, a mystical character such as this person certainly is not; the gentleman I refer to is Mr. Michael Collins.”

The Treaty vote may well have signaled the saddest day in Irish History.

READ: The Treaty Debate January 7th 1922

A brief timeline:

1916: Easter Rising. Michael Collins, Eamonn De Valera, Cathal Brugha take part in the Rising.

1918: Sinn Fein wins massive majority (73 seats) in General Election and refuses to take its seats in UK Parliament

1919: January 21: Sinn members meet in Dublin proclaiming the first Dail and declaring an Irish Republic (not recognized by Britain)

On the same day in 1919 in a totally unconnected incident, two Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) are ambushed and killed at Soloheadbeg, Co. Tipperary by IRA men including Dan Breen and Sean Treacy. The unauthorized attack is now accepted as the first incident in the brutal War of Independence which would eventually force Britain to the negotiating table.

1921: December 6thThe Anglo-Irish Treaty is signed in London. The following debate in Dail Eireann primarily centered on whether Collins, Griffith and company had the authority to sign an agreement on behalf of the Irish people.

1922: Dail Eireann votes to ratify the treaty. De Valera and anti-Treaty members refuse to accept the vote. Senior members of the IRA who had fought so hard to oust Britain from Ireland were now on different sides. The pro-Treaty side included Richard Mulcahy, Eoin O’Duffy, Michael Collins, Emmet Dalton, Piaras Bealsai. The  anti- Treaty side included Rory O’Connor,  Liam Mellows,  Cathal Brugha,  Austen Stack, Countess Markievicz and President of the Dail Eamonn De Valera.

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Happier Times: Kevin O’Higgins Wedding

Kevin O'Higgins and best man Rory O'Connor Wedding
De Valera, Kevin O’Higgins and Best Man Rory O’Connor. O’Higgins would approve  the execution of his friend O’Connor during the Civil War

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June 28th: Opening act of what would prove to be a vicious civil war when Irish government forces bombard the Four Courts in Dublin which anti-Treaty forces had taken by force.

Four Courts Bombardment

August 22ndMichael Collins killed in Cork by anti-Treaty forces.

December 6th: Irish Free State is formally established consisting of the whole Ireland of Ireland

December 7th: Six counties of Northern Ireland opts out of the Irish Free State and becomes a separate political entity with allegiance to England.

1923: Late May: Civil War ends with complete victory for Irish government forces. Atrocities had been carried out by both sides.

1926: Eamonn De Valera founds Fianna Fail

1927: Fianna Fail wins 44 seats in the general election and De Valera now enters Dail Eireann, prepared to take an Oath of Allegiance that he railed against during the Treaty debate now describing it merely as an “empty political formula.” Had he taken that view on January 7th 1922, it is quite likely there would have been no Civil War.

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Product Details

SHEIFGAB! Staying Sane, Motivated and Productive in Job Search.

An insightful, realistic, yet humorous book on the job search process by Today in Irish History Curator Conor Cunneen

Special accessible price for job seekers on Kindle of $2.99

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

Irish gift ideas. Best selling Irish booksRonnie Drew and Luke Kelly - Musical Irish Gifts to the worldJoyce Image in For the Love of Being IrishMichael Collins: Image from For the Love of Being Irish

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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.

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)

   

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October 16,

Michael Collins. Born 1890 on this Day in Irish History

October 16: TODAY in Irish History:

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Michael Collins For the Love of Being Irish

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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Product Details

SHEIFGAB! Staying Sane, Motivated and Productive in Job Search.

An insightful, realistic, yet humorous book on the job search process by Today in Irish History Curator Conor Cunneen

Special accessible price for job seekers on Kindle of $2.99

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1890: Michael Collins

The Big Fella is born in West Cork. Thirty one years later, he was in London negotiating the Anglo Irish treaty that brought independence to 26 counties of Ireland. The negotiations resulted in a vicious civil war that saw Collins lose his life.

Michael Collins emigrated to London aged fifteen where he joined Sinn Fein and the Gaelic League. He returned to Ireland in time to take part in the 1916 Rising. As with most other Irish rebels, he was released by British authorities in 1917 – a fateful and fatal decision as many (most) of those released were soon to take up arms again against Britain with the onset of the Irish War of Independence.

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Michael Collins the big fella

Michael Collins illustration in For the Love of Being Irish

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Collins can credibly be called the father of modern guerilla warfare. His ability to ambush, harass and execute British forces is of legend. While often perceived in romantic terms, Collins was a brutally effective rebel leader who led a passionate group of ultimately successful independence fighters, often killing fellow Irishmen  e.g. members of the Royal Irish Constabulary.

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Writings by Michael Collins

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FREE Download The Path to Freedom by Michael Collins .

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Execution of Cairo Gang

On November 21, 1920, Collins’ men wiped out much of British intelligence in Dublin. The so called Cairo Gang was targeted and executed by the IRA. A total of fifteen people were killed, although some may not have been intelligence men. The killings engendered vicious reprisal from British troops who the same day went to a football game in Croke Park and fired indiscriminately into the crowd. Fourteen spectators were killed.

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A Young Michael Collins
Michael Collins 1919

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The IRA guerilla activity eventually forced British Prime Minister Lloyd George to agree to peace talks in London where Michael Collins played a prominent role. After signing the Anglo Irish treaty on December 6, 1921, he wrote a friend “I have signed my death warrant.”

Unfortunately, he was right. De Valera and other anti-Treaty politicians rejected a democratic Dail vote accepting the Treaty, an action which resulted in the Irish Civil War. Collins was killed in an action in his native Co. Cork, August 22nd 1922.

Collins’ Impact

It is impossible to convey the impact Collins had / has on Irish history on this site.

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.”

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SEE: Rare Footage of Michael Collins. Despite the credits, this is unlikely to be in Armagh which is not in “Southern Ireland.”

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His once adversary, Winston Churchill wrote of The Big Fella, “Michael Collins was a man of dauntless courage.”

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READ: Churchill on Michael Collins

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Lloyd George said “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.”

Author Tim Pat Coogan in Michael Collins – A Biography quotes Collins’ nemesis de Valera, “It is my considered opinion that in the fullness of time history will record the greatness of Michael Collins and it will be recorded at my expense.”

De Valera supporters often doubt whether he made that statement, but few can doubt its sentiment.

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READ: Detailed Biography of Michael Collins at Military History Online

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shamrockshamrockshamrockshamrockshamrockshamrockshamrockshamrock

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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

Irish gift ideas. Best selling Irish booksRonnie Drew and Luke Kelly - Musical Irish Gifts to the worldJoyce Image in For the Love of Being IrishMichael Collins: Image from 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.

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)