Michael Collins 100 Years On

Who was Michael Collins

Born on 16th October 1890 at Woodfield near Clonakilty, Co. Cork, Michael Collins was the youngest of 8 children. After finishing school, he secured a job in the Post Office and moved to London in 1906, during which time it is thought his highly political outlook developed. An advocate for the GAA, he joined a local team in London, Geraldines GAA club where he became the secretary at a young age. While in London, he became a close associate of Sam Maguire through the GAA and his work in the Post Office. A key organiser for the GAA and IRB in London whose name was attributed to the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship trophy following his death.

By 1915 Collins was a member of the GAA, the Gaelic League, Sinn Féin, the Irish Volunteers, and the Irish Republican Brotherhood. He returned to Ireland in 1916 and took part in the 1916 Easter Rising in the GPO in Dublin, but when the rebellion was crushed, he was interned at Frongoch Prison Camp, Wales until December 1916.

From there, Michael Collins’ political position strengthened, and he was elected in 1918 for Sinn Féin to the first Dáil. Collins negotiated the Anglo-Irish Treaty with the British government which granted 26 counties in Ireland independence as the Irish Free State. The treaty was rejected by Eamon De Valera and his supporters, leading to the civil war. Michael Collins was shot dead when the convoy he was travelling in was ambushed at Béal na Bláth, Co. Cork on 22nd August 1922, aged 31.

Commemorating Michael Collins

22nd August 2022 marks the centenary of Michael Collins death. An iconic figure in Irish history, his life and legacy are remembered and honoured throughout Ireland on this date and year-round. Immerse yourself in Irish history and pay tribute to a revolutionary soldier and politician with some of the following Michael Collins events, products and attractions.

Michael Collins Centenary Commemoration

The annual Michael Collins commemoration service will take place on Sunday 21st August at 3pm, situated at the site of the ambush at Béal na Bláth where Michael Collins was fatally shot. Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar will make a historic address to mark the 100th anniversary of his death.

The Largest Gathering of Michael Collins

Is your name Michael Collins? Newcestown, a small town in Co. Cork aims to set the world record for the largest gathering of people named Michael Collins to mark the centenary of his death. Organisers of the Newcestown Festival are calling for people across Ireland and beyond with the name to join them in O’Mahony’s Bar, Newcestown after the commemoration service to celebrate the “Big Fellas” life in an exciting way.

Pull on a Michael Collins Jersey

Wear your Irish pride and pay tribute to the Irish revolutionary soldier and politician with a Michael Collins jersey. Designed to commemorate the “Big Fella” with some of his most famous quotes scripted on the back including “I tell you this, early this morning I have signed my death warrant”.

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of his death, we have released a new Michael Collins jersey to add to the collection.

Spend a Night in the Michael Collins Suite

A regular guest at the Imperial Hotel in Cork City, Michael Collins unknowingly spent his final two nights alive in room 115. As a tribute, the hotel has recently renovated room 115 with a luxury 1920s style and named it the Michael Collins Suite.

The suite will be unveiled on 22nd August to mark the 100-year anniversary of his death and will be left vacant on this date as a mark of respect. The family of the revolutionary soldier will be the first to sign the room’s visitor book. It will then be available for eager Irish history enthusiasts and Michael Collins fans to stay in and appreciate the room’s historic connection.

Tour the Big Fella’s Final Journey

Step back in time and delve deep into Irish history by retracing Michael Collins’ movements on his final day during the Michael Collins Tour.

After departing the Imperial Hotel at 6.15am on the morning of Monday 22nd August 1922 via Pembroke Street, Michael Collins travelled with a small military convoy to Macroom, Crookstown, Bandon, Clonakilty and Skibbereen for a series of meetings. On return to the Imperial Hotel just before sunset, the convoy was ambushed at Béal na Bláth where Michael Collins was shot dead.

Read Michael Collins Diaries

The words of Michael Collins live on as five of Michael Collins’ diaries were presented to Taoiseach Micheál Martin on loan to the National Archives from his descendants. After undergoing significant conservation and preservation treatment, each page was then carefully scanned to create electronic copies.

Gain an understanding of who the “Big Fella” really was, with a first-hand account of momentous historical events in his own words as well as his day-to-day notes. The diaries will be on display with the contents available to view electronically at the Michael Collins House Museum. The diary entries provide an insight into his remarkable life during extraordinary times.

Visit Michael Collins Grave

Pay your respects at the final resting place of the “Big Fella”. Michael Collins’ grave is situated in the Glasnevin Cemetery, Co. Dublin among other political leaders including the founder of Sinn Féin, Arthur Griffith and leader of the anti-treaty opposition, Eamon De Valera.