Michael Collins - Green Gallery

Michael Collins

By Jim FitzPatrick

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Michael Collins died in an ambush in Béal na Bláth, Co. Cork, in 1922. At that time Ireland was engulfed in a vicious civil war between the forces of the newly, democratically elected government of the Irish Free state and the remnants of the Irish Republican Army, led by Eamonn DeValera, his former comrade in arms against the British occupational forces.
Collins fought in the GPO in 1916, was captured and later he led the IRA in a brutal war of attrition against the British, which ended with the withdrawal of the British army from Ireland and the end of British rule after 800 years of attempted genocide and brutal repression of the Irish race.
When the civil war began after DeValera’s rejection of the treaty of Independence Collins was appointed Commander-in-chief of the Free State forces as the Irish Army was then called.
For myself I have always admired him for his wipeout of the brutal British Cairo gang who specialized in the murder of family members of IRA volunteers including a friend of my grandfather’s family.



In 1916, in a rebellion known as the Easter Rising, a small group of uniformed and organized but poorly armed Irish patriots took on the might of the British Empire and sought to end 800 years of subjugation and oppression.
Although totally outnumbered, for twelve extraordinary days in May 1916, they fought the British army to a standstill until finally forced to surrender as prisoners of war.
Most were promptly executed without mercy and with their executions the Irish people, who initially had rejected them as hopeless dreamers and troublemakers, were so outraged by these brutal murders that they rose in huge numbers against the British and eventually succeeded, after years of armed struggle and massive help from the Irish diaspora in America, in ejecting the British and declaring independence.

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