Thursday, February 24, 2011
Photo of the Day, the grave of Michael Collins.
From my recent trip to Glasnevin cemetery, the grave of Michael Collins. Michael Collins was a member of the Irish Republican brotherhood, the organisation that planned the 1916 Rising. He fought in the General Post Office on Easter week. He was a central figure in the election campaign of 1918 which saw a Sinn Fein victory whose policy it was to ignore the British parliament in Westminster and set up a Republic in Dublin. In that first revolutionary government which operated underground, Collins was the Minister of Finance. In the subsequent war with Britain he served as IRA Director of Intelligence. He was responsible for conducting the war against the British administration in Dublin Castle. After the truce in July 1921 he went to London to negotiate the terms of the treaty with Britain. The Treaty which was signed in December 1921 gave Ireland dominion status but not the republic. Michael Collins became chairman of the provisional government which was set up prior to elections. However the terms of the settlement were unacceptable to many republicans resulting in an IRA split and in June 1922 Civil war broke out. Collins resigned his post from the provisional government in order to take personal command of the war. The Anti treaty IRA were dispersed from all the cities and towns of Ireland by the new Free State Army within two months. On the 22nd of August 1922 Collins was ambushed in Beal na Blath Co Cork whilst on a tour of inspection of Free State troops even though it was widely believed that Collins was secretly attempting to meet with his former comrades in order to bring an end to the Civil War. Michael Collins was killed in the ambush. Michael Collins today remains an inspirational figure for the Irish people. The corruption and incompetence of the outgoing Fianna Fail government, the culmination of which was this great country of ours having to ask the IMF for a bail out, is an insult to the memory of Collins and the many other great men and women who fought for this beautiful amazing nation of ours. Tomorrow the Irish electorate have an opportunity to punish Fianna Fail for this, and to put a responsible Fine Gael government into power, a government that will always put the nation and the country first.