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Ireland's Greatest: Michael Collins

Ireland's Greatest: Michael Collins

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Michael Collins (the Big Fellow) was born in Clonakilty, Co. Cork on the 16th October 1890.

A foot-soldier in the 1916 Rising, during the War of Independence (1919-1921) he became director of intelligence of the I.R.A., which debilitated the British intelligence system through an effective Irish network of spies and armed agents. Michael Collins was a member of the delegation that negotiated the Anglo-Irish Treaty of the 6th December 1921 which established the 26 county Irish Free State. After reluctantly signing the treaty, he said to Lord Birkenhead 'I may have signed my actual death warrant'. In January 1922, Michael Collins became the Chairman of the Irish provisional government.

Following ratification of the Treaty, the Irish government split into pro and anti-Treaty camps. A vicious civil war (1922-23) followed with Collins acting as Commander-in-chief of the pro-Treaty army. The anti-Treaty movement was led by Éamon de Valera. The Civil War was even more violent than the War of Independence, pitting Irishmen against each other. On the 22nd August 1922, Michael Collins was fatally wounded at an ambush at Béal na Bláth (Béal Átha na Bláiche). An estimated 300,000 mourners attended his funeral.


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  • Published: 2010
  • LearnOutLoud.com Product ID: I079119