Michael Collins

Michael Collins books and biography


Michael Collins


Mícheál Seán Ó Coileáin
Nickname "The Big Fellow"
Place of birth Clonakilty, Co Cork, Ireland
Place of death Béal na mBláth, Co Cork, Ireland
Allegiance Irish Republican Brotherhood
Irish Volunteers
Irish Republican Army
Irish Free State Army
Rank Commander-in-Chief
Battles/wars Easter Rising
Irish War of Independence
Irish Civil War

Michael John ("Mick") Collins (Irish: Mícheál Seán Ó Coileáin; 16 October 1890 – 22 August 1922) was an Irish revolutionary leader, Minister for Finance in the Irish Republic, Director of Intelligence for the IRA, and member of the Irish delegation during the Anglo-Irish Treaty negotiations, both as Chairman of the Provisional Government and Commander-in-Chief of the National Army.

He was shot and killed in August 1922, during the Irish Civil War. Although most Irish political parties recognise his contribution to the foundation of the modern Irish state, members and supporters of the political party Fine Gael hold in particular regard his memory, regarding him as their movement's founding father; the party was originally called Cumann na nGaedhael.


Early years

Born in Sam's Cross, near Clonakilty, County Cork, Ireland, Collins was third son and youngest of eight children. Although most biographies list his date of birth as 16 October 1890, his tombstone lists his date of birth as 12 October 1890.

His family, muintir Uí Choileáin, had once been the lords of Uí Chonaill, near Limerick, but like many Irish gentry, had become dispossessed and reduced to the level of ordinary farmers. Yet their farm of 145 acres (59 ha) made them wealthier and more comfortable than most late nineteenth century Irish farmers. Michael's older sister, Helena, became a nun, and was known as Sister Mary Celestine; she was a schoolteacher in London.

His father, also called Michael Collins, had become a member of the republican Fenian movement when younger, but had left and settled down to farming. The elder Collins was sixty years old when he married Marianne O'Brien, then twenty-three. His father died when Michael was only six years of age.

Collins was a bright and precocious child, with a fiery temper and a passionate nationalism, spurred on by a local blacksmith, James Santry, and later, at the Lisavaird National School, by a local school headmaster, Denis Lyons, a member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB, an organization Collins would eventually lead). Collins was tall, strapping and loved sports, which did not detract from his cerebral development or uncanny instincts.

After leaving school, the 15-year-old Michael followed in the footsteps of many people from Ireland, especially the Clonakilty area, and moved to London. While in London he lived with his elder sister, Johanna ("Hannie").

In February 1906 Collins took the British Civil Service examination in which (to pass it) he praised the "greatest empire." [1]; he was employed by the post office from July 1906.

He joined the local Gaelic Athletic Association and, through this, the IRB, a secret oath-bound society dedicated to the liberation of Ireland. Sam Maguire, a Protestant republican from Dunmanway, County Cork, introduced the 19 year old Collins into the IRB. In time he would come to play a central role in the IRB.

Easter Rising

Michael Collins first became known during the Easter Rising in 1916. A skilled organiser of considerable intelligence, he was highly respected in the IRB, so much so that he was made financial adviser to Count Plunkett, father of one of the Rising's organisers, Joseph Mary Plunkett, whose aide-de-camp Collins would become.

When the rising itself took place on Easter Monday, 1916, he fought alongside Patrick Pearse and others in the General Post Office in Dublin. The rising became (as expected by many) a military disaster. While many celebrated the fact that a rising had happened at all, believing in the theory of "blood sacrifice" (namely that the deaths of the rising's leaders would inspire others), Collins railed against what he perceived as its ham-fisted amateurism, notably the seizure of prominent buildings such as the GPO that were impossible to defend, impossible to escape from and difficult to supply. (During the War of Independence he ensured the avoidance of such tactics of "becoming sitting targets", with his soldiers operating as "flying columns" who waged a guerrilla war against the British, suddenly attacking then just as quickly withdrawing, minimising losses and maximising effectiveness.)

Easter Proclamation, read by Pádraig Pearse outside the GPO at the start of the Easter Rising, 1916.
Easter Proclamation, read by Pádraig Pearse outside the GPO at the start of the Easter Rising, 1916.

Collins, like many of the rising's participants, was arrested, almost sent to the gallows and wound up at Frongoch internment camp. There, as his contemporaries expected, his leadership skills showed. By the time of the general release, Collins had already become one of the leading figures in the post-rising Sinn Féin, a small nationalist party which the British government and the Irish media wrongly blamed for the rising. It was quickly infiltrated by survivors of the rising, so as to capitalise on the "notoriety" the innocent movement had gained through British attacks. By October 1917, through skill and ability, Collins had risen to become a member of the executive of Sinn Féin and director of organisation of the Irish Volunteers; Éamon de Valera was president of both organisations.

First Dáil

Like all senior Sinn Féin members, Michael Collins was nominated to seek a seat in the 1918 general election to elect Irish MPs to the British House of Commons in London. And like the overwhelming majority (many without contests), Collins was elected, becoming MP for Cork South. However, unlike their rivals in the Irish Parliamentary Party, Sinn Féin MPs had announced that they would not take their seats in Westminster, but instead would set up an Irish Parliament in Dublin. That new parliament, called Dáil Éireann (meaning "Assembly of Ireland", see First Dáil) met in the Mansion House, Dublin in January 1919. De Valera and leading Sinn Féin MPs had been arrested. Collins, typically, had been tipped off by his network of spies about the plan and had warned leading figures. De Valera, equally typically, had talked many into ignoring the warnings, believing if the arrests happened they would constitute a propaganda coup, only to find that with the leadership now arrested, there were few people left to do the necessary "spinning" in the media. In de Valera's absence, Cathal Brugha was elected Príomh Aire (literally prime minister, but often translated as "President of Dáil Éireann"), to be replaced by de Valera, when Collins helped his escape from Lincoln prison, in April, 1919.

Collins in 1919 had a number of roles. In the summer he was elected president of the IRB (and therefore in the doctrine of that organisation making de jure President of the Irish Republic). In September he was made Director of Intelligence of the Irish Republican Army,[2] as the Volunteers had become (the name symbolising the organisation's claim to be the army of the Irish Republic was ratified in January 1919). The Irish War of Independence in effect began on the same day that the First Dáil met in January 1919, when two policemen guarding a consignment of gelignite were shot dead by IRA volunteers acting without orders, in Soloheadbeg, County Tipperary. {See also Dan Breen}.

Minister for Finance

In 1919, the already busy Collins received yet another responsibility when de Valera appointed him to the Aireacht (ministry) as Minister for Finance.

Understandably, in the circumstances of a brutal war, in which ministers were liable to be arrested or killed by the Royal Irish Constabulary, the British Army, the Black and Tans or the Auxiliaries at a moment's notice, most of the ministries existed only on paper, or as one or two people working in a room of a private house.

Not with Collins, however, who produced a Finance Ministry that was able to organise a large bond issue in the form of a "National Loan" to fund the new Irish Republic. Such was Collins' reputation that even Lenin heard about his spectacular national loan, and sent a representative to Dublin to borrow some money from the Irish Republic to help fund the Russian Republic, offering some of the Russian Crown Jewels as collateral. (The jewels remained in a Dublin safe, forgotten by all sides, until the 1930s, when they were found by chance.)

First Dáil: Michael Collins (second from left, front row), Arthur Griffith (fourth from left, front row) Éamon de Valera (centre, front row), W. T. Cosgrave (second from right, front row).
First Dáil: Michael Collins (second from left, front row), Arthur Griffith (fourth from left, front row) Éamon de Valera (centre, front row), W. T. Cosgrave (second from right, front row).

In retrospect, the sheer scale of Collins' workload and his achievements are impressive. From creating a special assassination squad called The Twelve Apostles to kill British agents to the arrangement of an internationally famous "National Loan"; from running the IRA to effectively running the government when de Valera traveled to and remained in the United States for an extended period of time; and managing an arms-smuggling operation; Collins nearly became a one-man revolution.

Collins and Richard Mulcahy were two principal central organisers for the Irish Republican Army, in so far as it was possible to direct the actions of scattered and heavily localised guerrilla units. Collins is often credited with organising the IRA's guerrilla "flying columns" during the war of independence, although to suggest Collins organised this single handedly would be false. He had a prominent part in the formation of the flying columns but the main organiser would have been Dick McKee, later executed by the British in retaliation for Bloody Sunday (1920). In addition, a great deal of IRA activity was carried out on the initiative of local leaders, with tactics and overall strategy developed by Collins or Mulcahy.

By 1920, when he was 30 years old, the British offered a bounty of £10,000 (a vast sum in the 1920s) for information leading to the capture or death of Michael Collins. His fame had so transcended the IRA movement that he was nicknamed "The Big Fellow."

Among national leaders, he made enemies with two particular people: Cathal Brugha, the earnest but mediocre Minister for Defence who was overshadowed by his cabinet colleague in military matters (despite Collins being officially only Minister for Finance, and Brugha supposedly in control of defense), and Éamon de Valera, the President of Dáil Éireann.

Following a truce, arrangements were made for a conference between the British government and the leaders of the yet unrecognised Irish Republic. Other than the Soviet Union, which needed money and so gave diplomatic recognition to the Irish Republic, not a single other state did so, despite sustained lobbying in Washington by de Valera and prominent Irish-Americans, as well as at the Versailles Peace Conference by Sean T. O'Kelly.

In a move that astonished observers, de Valera — who in August 1921 made the Dáil upgrade his office from prime minister to President of the Republic to make him the equivalent of King George V in the negotiations — then announced that as the King would not attend and neither should the President of the Republic.

Instead with the reluctant agreement of his cabinet, de Valera nominated a team of delegates headed by Arthur Griffith, with Michael Collins as his deputy. With heavy misgivings, believing de Valera should head the delegation, Collins agreed to go to London.

Anglo-Irish Treaty

The negotiations ultimately resulted in the Anglo-Irish Treaty, which provided for a new Irish State, named the "Irish Free State" (a literal translation from the Irish language term Saorstát Éireann, which appeared on the letterhead de Valera used, though de Valera had translated it less literally as the Irish Republic.[3])

The treaty provided for a possible all-Ireland state, subject to the right of a six-county region in the northeast to opt out of the Free State (which it immediately did). If this happened, an Irish Boundary Commission was to be established to redraw the Irish border, which Collins expected would so reduce the size of Northern Ireland as to make it economically unviable, thus enabling unity, as most of the unionist population was concentrated in a relatively small area in eastern Ulster.

The new Irish Free State was to be a Dominion, with a bicameral parliament, executive authority vested in the king but exercised by an Irish government elected by a lower house called Dáil Éireann (translated this time as "Chamber of Deputies"), an independent courts system, and a form of independence that far exceeded anything sought by Charles Stewart Parnell or the subsequent Irish Parliamentary Party.

Republican purists saw it as a sell-out, with the replacement of the republic by dominion status within the British Empire, and an Oath of Allegiance made (it was then claimed) directly to the King. (The actual wording shows that the oath was made to the Irish Free State, with a subsidiary oath of fidelity to the King as part of the Treaty settlement, not to the king unilaterally. See Oath of Allegiance (Ireland).)

Sinn Féin split over the treaty, and the Dáil debated the matter bitterly for ten days until it was approved by a vote of 64 to 57.[4] In the process Cathal Brugha remarked that Collins was not a senior military man and yet the newspapers were describing him as "the man who won the war". The reality was, however, that Collins was the man most responsible for the IRA's war effort during the Anglo-Irish war. De Valera joined the anti-treaty faction opposing the perceived concessions. His opponents charged that he had prior knowledge that the crown would have to feature in whatever form of settlement was agreed. His bitterest opponents even accused de Valera of "chickening out" of leading the delegation, in the knowledge that a republic could not possibly result from the negotiations in the short-term.

Triple approval

Under the terms of the treaty, three separate parliaments had to approve the document. The British parliament did so. So too did Dáil Éireann, although its approval was required for political rather than legal reasons: Dáil Éireann, though it had no status in international law and was not accepted as the parliament of Ireland by the international community (as it was regarded by the British as an illegal assembly), nevertheless had a crucial de-facto position as the voice of Sinn Féin members and (as they represented the majority of Irish people) of Irish public opinion. In addition the treaty required the approval of a third body, the House of Commons of Southern Ireland, which constituted the "lawful" parliament of the twenty-six county state called Southern Ireland created under the Government of Ireland Act 1920 (of its 128 members, 124, having been elected, had formed the "Second Dáil" in 1921, the body which had approved the new Treaty in December 1921).

Though few Irish people recognised it as a valid entity, as the legal Parliament it too needed to give approval, which it did overwhelmingly (anti-Treaty members stayed away, meaning only pro-treaty members — and the four unionists elected who had never sat in Dáil Éireann — attended its meeting in January 1922).

Provisional Government

Under the Dáil Constitution adopted in 1919, Dáil Éireann continued to exist. De Valera resigned the presidency and sought re-election (in an effort to destroy the newly approved Treaty), but Arthur Griffith defeated him in the vote and assumed the presidency. (Griffith called himself "President of Dáil Éireann" rather than de Valera's more exalted "President of the Republic".) However this government, or Aireacht, had no legal status in British constitutional law, so another co-existent government emerged, nominally answerable to the House of Commons of Southern Ireland.

The new Provisional Government formed under Collins, who became "President of the Provisional Government" (i.e., Prime Minister). He also remained Minister for Finance of Griffith's republican administration. An example of the complexities involved can be seen even in the manner of his installation. In British legal theory he was a Crown-appointed prime minister, installed under the Royal Prerogative. To be so installed, he had to formally meet the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Viscount Fitzalan (the head of the British administration in Ireland). According to the republican view, Collins met Fitzalan to accept the surrender of Dublin Castle, the seat of British government in Ireland. According to British constitutional theory, he met Fitzalan to "kiss hands" (the formal name for the installation of a minister of the Crown), the fact of their meeting rather than the signing of any documents, duly installing him in office.

Allegedly, Collins was late to this ceremony by seven minutes and was rebuked for this by Fitzalan. Collins replied, "You had to wait seven minutes but we had to wait seven hundred years!"

The Treaty was hugely controversial in Ireland. First, Éamon de Valera, the President of the Irish Republic was unhappy that Collins had signed any deal without his and his cabinet's authorisation. Second, the contents of the Treaty were bitterly disputed. De Valera and many other members of the republican movement objected to Ireland's status as a dominion of the British Empire and to the symbolism of having to take an Oath to the British King to this effect. Also controversial was the British retention of Treaty Ports on the south coast of Ireland for the Royal Navy. Both of these things threatened to give Britain control over Ireland's foreign policy. Almost half the TDs in the Dáil opposed the Treaty, which was narrowly passed on 7 January 1922, by 64 votes to 57, a margin of 7 votes. Most seriously, most of the Irish Republican Army opposed the Treaty, opening the prospect of civil war over it.

Curiously, in hindsight, the partition of Ireland between the Irish Free State and Northern Ireland was not as controversial. One of the main reasons for this was that Collins was secretly planning to launch a clandestine guerrilla war against the Northern State. Throughout the early months of 1922, he had been sending IRA units to the border and sending arms and money to the northern units of the IRA. In May-June 1922, he and IRA Chief of Staff Liam Lynch organised an offensive of both pro- and anti-treaty IRA units along the new border. British arms supplied to Collin's Provisional government were instead swapped with the weapons of IRA units, which were sent to the north. This offensive was officially called off under British pressure on June 3 and Collins issued a statement that, "no troops from the 26 counties, either those under official control [pro-treaty] or those attached to the [IRA] Executive [anti-treaty] should be permitted to invade the six county area.[5] However, low level IRA attacks on the border continued. Such activity was interrupted by the outbreak of civil war in the south, but had Collins lived, there is every chance he would have launched a full scale guerrilla offensive against Northern Ireland. Because of this, most northern IRA units supported Collins and 524 of them came south to join the Free State Army in the Irish Civil War.

In the months leading up to the outbreak of civil war in June 1922, Collins tried desperately to heal the rift in the nationalist movement and prevent war. De Valera, having opposed the Treaty in the Dáil, withdrew from the assembly with his supporters. Collins secured a compromise, the "pact", whereby the two factions of Sinn Féin, pro- and anti-Treaty, would fight the Free State's first election jointly and form a coalition government afterwards.

Collins proposed that the Free State would have a republican constitution, with no mention of the British King, without repudiating the Treaty, a compromise acceptable to all but the most intransigent republicans. To foster military unity, he established an "army re-unification committee" with delegates from pro- and anti-Treaty factions. He also made efforts to use the secret Irish Republican Brotherhood of which he was president, to get IRA officers to accept the Treaty. However, the British vetoed the proposed republican constitution under the threat of an economic blockade, arguing they had signed the Treaty in good faith and its terms could not be changed. Collins was therefore unable to reconcile the anti-Treaty side. The subsequent actions of some anti-Treaty IRA men led to fighting and then all out civil war.

Civil War & Death of Collins

In April 1922, a group of 200 anti-Treaty IRA men occupied the Four Courts in Dublin in defiance of the Provisional government. Collins, who wanted to avoid civil war at all costs, did not attack them until June 1922, when British pressure forced his hand. On 22 June 1922, Sir Henry Wilson, a retired British general, was shot dead by two IRA men in Belgravia, London. At the time, it was presumed that the anti-Treaty faction of the IRA were responsible and Winston Churchill told Collins that unless he moved against the Four Courts garrison, he, (Churchill) would use British troops to do so.

In fact, it has since been proved that Collins himself ordered the killing of Wilson in reprisal for his part in the attacks on Roman Catholics in Northern Ireland. Joe Dolan — a member of Collins' "Squad" or assassination unit in the War of Independence and in 1922 a captain in the Free State Army — revealed this in the 1950s, along with the revelation that Collins had ordered him to try to rescue the two gunmen before they were executed [6]. In any event, this forced Collins to take action against the Four Courts men and the final provocation came when they kidnapped J.J. O'Connell, the Free State General. After a final attempt to persuade the men to leave, Collins borrowed two 18 pounder artillery pieces from the British and bombarded the Four Courts until its garrison surrendered.[7]

This led to the Irish Civil War as fighting broke out in Dublin between the anti-Treaty IRA and the Free State troops. Under Collins' supervision, the Free State rapidly took control of the capital. In July 1922, anti-Treaty forces held the southern province of Munster and several other areas of the country. De Valera and the other anti-Treaty TDs sided with the anti-Treaty IRA. By mid-1922, Collins in effect laid down his responsibilities as Chairman of the Provisional Government to become Commander-in-Chief of the National Army, a formal, structured, uniformed army that formed around the nucleus of the pro-Treaty IRA. The Free State Army that was armed and funded by the British was rapidly expanded to fight the civil war. Collins, along with Richard Mulcahy and Eoin O'Duffy decided on a series of seaborne landings into republican held areas that re-took Munster and the west in July-August 1922. As part of this offensive, Collins traveled to his native Cork, against the advice of his companions, and despite suffering from stomach ache and depression. Collins reputedly told his comrades that "They wouldn't shoot me in my own county."[8]

En route through County Cork on 22 August 1922, at the village of Béal na mBláth (Irish, "the Mouth of Flowers"), Collins was killed in an ambush which lasted around 40 minutes, between 7:30 and 8:10 P.M.. Collins was the only fatality in the action. Perhaps rashly, he had ordered his convoy to stop and return fire, instead of choosing the safer option of driving on in the safety of his armoured car, as his companion, Emmet Dalton, had wished. Collins was 31 years old when he died. There is no consensus as to who fired the fatal shot, and even the affiliation of the assassin is subject to debate.[9] Some books have suggested the shot was fired by Denis ("Sonny") O'Neill, a former British Army marksman who died in 1950. This is supported by eyewitness accounts of the participants of the ambush, as well as the type of ammunition used to kill Collins; the type of bullet used, called a "dumdum" or "flatnosted" bullet, was commonly used by the Black and Tans. Neill admitted after the ambush took place that he had been using this type of ammo. Furthermore, at the autopsy, doctors concluded that the shot was a direct hit, not a ricochet bullet, by examining the size and shape of the wound. [10] Shocked that anything could have happened to "the Big Fellow", Collins' men brought his body back to Cork where it was then shipped to Dublin because it was feared the body may be stolen in an ambush if it were driven. His body lay in state for three days in the Rotunda where tens of thousands of mourners filed past his casket to pay their respects.

Collins' legacy

The funeral of Michael Collins in the Pro-Cathedral in Dublin (A contemporary newspaper drawing of Collins' state funeral.)
The funeral of Michael Collins in the Pro-Cathedral in Dublin (A contemporary newspaper drawing of Collins' state funeral.)

Michael Collins has gone down in Irish history as one of the great "what might have beens". A man of extraordinary intelligence, incredible passion but most of all a monumental work rate, his loss was a disaster for the nascent Irish state. Despite opposition, he had supported and supplied the IRA in Northern Ireland throughout the civil war, a policy which was quickly discontinued after his death. It is doubtful he would have regarded the findings of the Irish Boundary Commission with the same equanimity as his successors. His loss was made all the more tragic by the death of President Griffith only 10 days before due to stress. One of Collins' last public appearances was marching behind the body of his friend and cabinet colleague. Within one week, Collins joined Griffith in Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin.

But most striking of all were his prophetic words on the day the treaty was signed. When Lord Birkenhead, aware of how unpopular the Treaty would be in Ireland, commented that he may have signed his political death warrant, Collins said that he had signed his actual death warrant. In words to a close friend Collins wrote:

"When you have sweated, toiled, had mad dreams, hopeless nightmares, you find yourself in London's streets, cold and dank in the night air. Think - what have I got for Ireland? Something which she has wanted these past seven hundred years. Will anyone be satisfied at the bargain? Will anyone? I tell you this; early this morning I signed my death warrant. I thought at the time how odd, how ridiculous — a bullet may just as well have done the job five years ago"[citation needed]

Whereas his colleagues, whether Éamon de Valera, W. T. Cosgrave, Richard Mulcahy or Eoin O'Duffy were judged by how they handled the difficult task of building a state, Collins by his early death is simply remembered as a radical young man who faced none of their subsequent peace-time problems.

At eighty five years of age, DeValera was quoted as saying "It's my considered opinion that in the fullness of time, history will record the greatness of Collins and it will be recorded at my expense"[11]

Film of Michael Collins

Main article: Michael Collins (film)

In 1996, Michael Collins became the subject of a film by director Neil Jordan. Titled Michael Collins, Liam Neeson plays the title role, and Julia Roberts plays Collins' fiancée, Kitty Kiernan. Although the film received praise for bringing the story of Michael Collins to a wide international audience, some historians criticised it for taking a number of liberties with facts.

A fictionalised version of Collins' life is in the 1936 movie Beloved Enemy, starring David Niven as an English Officer. Unlike the real Michael Collins, the fictionalised Collins "Dennis Riordan" (played by Brian Aherne) is shot and recovers.

See also

  • Hazel Lavery
  • List of people on stamps of Ireland


  1. ^ Examining Irish leader's youthful past - from the BBC
  2. ^ Most agree that the Irish Republican Army of 1919–21 had the general sanction of the Irish people and Dáil Éireann to act as the "Army of the Republic". The majority of Irish people believe that the IRA's legitimacy was passed on to the new Irish National Army, established in 1922, and that later organisations calling themselves the "IRA" (whether the Official IRA, the Provisional IRA, the Real IRA etc.) had little legitimacy and only tenuous links with the earlier army of the Republic. A small republican minority disagrees and claims that the Second Dáil (the Parliament elected in June 1921 and which was replaced in another election in 1922) was never constitutionally disestablished and was thus always the real Irish parliament. A small number of republicans from the Second Dáil meeting in the 1930s voted to pass the Second Dáil's supposed legal authority to the Army Council of the IRA, making it in the eyes of some Irish republicans the "real" government of Ireland, and the IRA the "real" army. (In 2005 Gerry Adams, President of Sinn Féin, explicitly repudiated, at the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis, this constitutional theory (previously the cornerstone of physical force republicanism's claim to legitimacy) and instead declared there was no legitimate government of Ireland as long as it was partitioned).
  3. ^ Two Irish Gaelic titles correspond to the term "Irish Republic": Saorstát Éireann (which literally meant "Free State of Ireland") and Poblacht na hÉireann. Irish language purists preferred the former title, which came from "real", previously existing Gaelic words, unlike the latter, a specially Gaelicised word.
  4. ^ Debate on the Treaty between Great Britain and Ireland... from University College Cork
  5. ^ Hopkinson, Michael. Green Against Green, the Irish Civil War, pp.83-87
  6. ^ Dwyer, T. Ryle (2005) The Squad, Dublin, pp.256-258
  7. ^ Coogan, Tim Pat. Michael Collins p.331
  8. ^ Barrett, Suzanne (1997) "Michael Collins - Irish Patriot: 1890-1922 Commander-in-Chief, Irish Free State Army"
  9. ^ Green, Dana (2004) "Michael Collins: A Beloved Irish Patriot". Military History Online
  10. ^ Ryan, Meda The Day Michael Collins Was Shot
  11. ^ Revolutionary movements across the world have taken Michael Collins' approach to military operations. The tactic of wearing "the uniform of the common man" as opposed to formal military clothing is now common among guerilla movements. Indeed, the Israeli guerilla leader, Yitzhak Shamir, used as his code name Michael Collins in fighting the British, and the conflict to establish Taiwan (in the face of the Communist revolution in China) was called "Operation Michael Collins".

Political career

Political offices
Preceded by
Newly Created Office
Minister for Home Affairs
Jan. 1919–Apr. 1919
Succeeded by
Arthur Griffith
Preceded by
Eoin MacNeill
Minister for Finance
Succeeded by
W. T. Cosgrave
Preceded by
Newly Created Office
Chairman of the Provisional Government
Jan. 1922–Aug. 1922
Prime Ministers of Ireland
Taoisigh na hÉireann
  Government of Ireland

Éamon de Valera • John A. Costello • Seán Lemass • Jack Lynch • Liam Cosgrave • Charles Haughey • Garret FitzGerald • Albert Reynolds • John Bruton • Bertie Ahern

Previous prime ministerial offices under earlier constitutions

Príomh Aire (1919–1921) Cathal Brugha • Éamon de Valera
President of the Irish Republic (1921–1922) Éamon de Valera • Arthur Griffith
Chairman of the Provisional Government (1922) Michael Collins • W. T. Cosgrave
President of the Executive Council (1922–1937) W. T. Cosgrave • Éamon de Valera

This article might use material from a Wikipedia article, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

Sponsored Links

The Path To Freedom

By Michael Collins
Opinion & Commentary

The Path To Freedom
Details Report
Share this Book!
message of the week Message of The Week

Bookyards Youtube channel is now active. The link to our Youtube page is here.

If you have a website or blog and you want to link to Bookyards. You can use/get our embed code at the following link.

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Bookyards Facebook, Tumblr, Blog, and Twitter sites are now active. For updates, free ebooks, and for commentary on current news and events on all things books, please go to the following:

Bookyards at Facebook

Bookyards at Twitter

Bookyards at Pinterest

Bookyards atTumblr

Bookyards blog

message of the daySponsored Links