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New light shed on Michael Collins' killing

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  • New light shed on Michael Collins' killing
    Wednesday, 27 October 2010

    It is believed to be the first contemporary account of the ambush at Béal na mBláth.

    Despite speculation, the document also suggests Collins was not shot by one of his own officers.

    A charismatic figure, Michael Collins was chief-of-staff of the Free State forces during the Civil War and regarded as a brilliant military strategist.

    Several films and reconstructions have been made about the ambush that claimed his life. It happened in August 1922 when he was on a tour of his Cork constituency.

    An internal IRA document, unseen up to now and written two days after the ambush, shows that the shooting happened somewhat by chance as most of the IRA party had withdrawn from Béal na mBláth having given up hope of Collins passing.

    The document written to IRA chief of staff Liam Lynch is published in a new book on the IRA by Dr Brian Hanley.

    Dr Hanley, lecturer in Modern History at St Patrick's College Drumcondra, said Collins should have been much better protected on the journey.

    Dr Hanley said the document suggests that Collins was not killed by one of his senior officers or one of his own gunners.

    For decades this first-hand report on Collins death was hidden in papers of the former IRA chief of staff, Moss Twomey. But those papers were donated to UCD about ten years ago.
    "The dolphins were monkeys that didn't like the land, walked back to the water, went back from the sand."

  • #2
    Hi there,
    The notion that the ambush was a chance event is already borne out by previous accounts, which have it that the IRA party were heading home after having set an ambush for Free State troops and finding no target. The ambush has already been the subject of several forensic examinations and, of course, several films and documentaries, all of which agree that Collins exposed himself recklessly, a fact confirmed by the IRA present and his own men.
    Either way, it really does nail the notion that DeValera deliberately ordered the shooting of Collins although, if Twomey is to be believed, they had planned to kill Collins and, one would wonder, was this with Dev's sanction?


    • #3
      Look, we have known for years, Jonathan Rhys Meyers shot Michael Collins. Shur wasn't he king of england for a while too!

      Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.


      • #4
        Originally posted by Goldie fish View Post
        Look, we have known for years, Jonathan Rhys Meyers shot Michael Collins. Shur wasn't he king of england for a while too!
        Post of the week


        • #5
          One programme fronted by Cathal O'Shannon named the shooter as Sonny O'Neill


          • #6
            My Grandmother was a member of the Cumann na mBan. The day Collins was shot, De Valera was at a meeting with the IRA leadership at Woods house near Beal na Blath my grandmother brought them their tea in the house that evening. My Grandfather was the local Adjutant for the IRA company whose area of operations was Beal na Blath.