Michael Collins

THE EARLY YEARS

   Michael Collins was born at Woodfield (his father's farm), Clonakilty, near Sam's Cross, a tiny hamlet in West Cork, named after Sam Wallace, a local highwayman on October 16, 1890. Sam's Cross lies between Rosscarbery and Clonakilty. In this beautiful valley locked between the river and sea, Michael spent his early years. His father, Michael John Collins, at 60 years of age married a local girl, Marianne O'Brien, then only twenty-three and produced a large family over the next twenty years. Michael the younger was the third son and the youngest of the eight children. He was 6 years of age at the time of his father's death. But during those six years, Michael was greatly influenced by his father, who encouraged his children to learn patriotic ballads and poetry
   Michael attended national school at Lisavaird, and the schoolmaster there, Denis Lyons, was to have a large influence on his life. For this schoolmaster was an active member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, a secret organization dedicated to ousting the British from Ireland, by force if necessary. West Cork was the heartland of Fenianism, the Irish nationalist movement founded in the 19th century. From Lyons and the local blacksmith, James Santry, Michael was to gain a sense of pride of the Irish as a race that would give meaning to his short life.
   Michael had a keen mind, as well as a strong body and big for his age. And he loved to read, familiar at a young age with Shakespeare and the great novelists of the 19th century. When only 11, Michael began to subscribe to 'The United Irishman', edited by Arthur Griffith, the founder of Sinn Fein. Two years later, his mother sent him to Clonakilty to study for the Post Office examinations and to live with his sister Margaret. He worked briefly for his brother-in-law who owned the West Cork People, a newspaper of the area, learning typesetting and writing articles on local sporting events. In July 1906, at the age of 15, he went to London where he lived with his sister Hannie, in West Kensington, and worked for the Postal Savings Bank. Michael would spend the next nine years in London. He joined the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), the Gaelic League, which promoted the revival of the Irish language, and Sinn Fein. In November 1909, he was inducted into the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB).
   The election results of 1910, gave the IPP the balance of power and its leader, John Redmond, called for the introduction of Home Rule. The Home Rule Bill was put before the House of Commons in April, 1912, and met with stiff resistance from the Ulster Unionists, who feared that the Protestant culture would lose out to the Catholic nationalist majority. In 1913, the Ulster Unionist leader, Sir Edward Carson, organized the Ulster militias into the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) and threatened to set up a provisional government in Belfast if Home Rule were introduced. Nationalists in Dublin responded by forming the Irish Volunteers. Redmond fought to gain control of the Irish Volunteers and with the outbreak of the First World War, he proposed in the House of Commons that the Volunteers and the UVF come together to defend Ireland against invasion. With the question of Home Rule now deferred until after the war, the Irish Volunteers split into two camps. The majority followed Redmond's advice and joined the British war effort in the hope of gaining Home Rule, while a minority dominated by the IRB stayed at home and plotted rebellion.
   The failure of the Irish Parliamentary Party to achieve Home Rule through constitutional means attracted younger members to the IRB. Shortly thereafter, Michael left the Post Office and took up a post with a stockbroking company and later worked in the Whitehall Labour Exchange. Before returning to Ireland, he worked briefly with an American firm, the Guaranty Trust Company.


Arthur Griffith and Eamon De Valera

   When Michael Collins arrived home in Dublin in early 1916, the situation was deteriorating and events moved forward toward an armed insurrection. The IRB's military expert, Joseph Plunkett, Appointed as a staff officer working with Tom Clarke and Sean Mac Diarmada in the IRB. The Easter Rising was a military disaster. Confusion rose as Eoin MacNeill, the founder of the Irish Volunteers, issued orders to abandon all plans for a rebellion which the IRB countermanded. Despite the confusion, the Irish Volunteers and the Irish Citizen Army succeeded in capturing some of the main buildings in the city. Michael Collins fought in the GPO alongside the leaders of the Rising, Padraig Pearse and James Connolly.  After five days of fighting the Volunteers were forced to surrender. The Rising was denounced in the newspapers of the time and members of the public were angry about the destruction of the city. But the public mood changed quickly when the leaders of the rebellion, including Clarke and Mac Diarmada, were executed over a ten-day period. Connolly, who was the last to face the firing squad, had to be strapped to a chair, as he could not stand upright because of his injuries.

THE RISING

   In 1916, Michael returned to Dublin to take part in the planned insurrection. He received a Volunteer's uniform and as Captain Michael Collins he was second in command to Joseph Mary Plunkett in the General Post Office during Easter Week. Collins made no secret that he admired the realism of men like Sean Mac Diarmada more than the aesthetic Padraig Pearse. And though he played a minor part in the Rising, his sense of duty and clear-headedness were remembered.
   Following the Rising, Michael, as a prisoner of war, was sent to Richmond Barracks and later to Frongoch internment camp in Wales. He returned home to Ireland in December 1916. But it was at Frongoch where Michael Collins' ability as an organizer became recognized. And immediately following his release, he rebuilt the IRB.


British troops stand in the charred remains of the GPO

   Collins and his fellow Volunteers were rounded up and sent on a cattle boat to English prisons. At first he was held in Stafford jail and then, at the end of June, the prisoners were transferred to Frongach camp in Wales. The British government, anxious to defuse the growing public sympathy for the rebels in Ireland, released the internees on the 22 December, 1916. On returning home Collins quickly found employment as secretary of the Irish National Aid and Volunteer Dependants Fund. He used his position to revitalise the Volunteer movement and attract new recruits to the IRB. But it was Sinn Fein, and not the IRB, which had gained most from the fallout of the Rising, despite the fact that Griffith had been opposed to it. Initially suspicious of Sinn Fein, Collins realised that it was a radical nationalist party that could defeat the IPP. He campaigned vigorously in a series of by-elections, first in Roscommon and then in Longford. In the Longford by-election Collins nominated Joe McGuinness, who was still serving a prison sentence for his part in the Rising. Using the slogan "Put him in, to get him out", McGuinness was elected. The effect of the by-election victories was almost immediate. The British released the remaining 120 prisoners.
   Among the prisoners released were two senior surviving officers, Thomas Ashe and Eamon de Valera. De Valera had not been executed in 1916 because he was born in the United States. Ashe was elected president of the IRB but was soon arrested for making seditious speeches. Because he was refused political status, Thomas Ashe went on hunger strike and died five days later when the British tried to force feed him. The funeral arrangements were made by Michael Collins. At the graveside a section of uniformed volunteers stepped forward and fired a volley. Then Collins gave a brief oration: "Nothing additional remains to be said. That volley which we have just heard is the only speech which it is proper to make at the grave of a dead Fenian." Collins then wept in what was a very rare public display of grief.
   Collins now organized the election of de Valera as president of Sinn Fein in a deal with Arthur Griffith. Sinn Fein's main aim was now the "international recognition of Ireland as an independent Irish Republic." The militants dominated Sinn Fein and Collins began organizing an effective intelligence gathering operation. Among those he recruited, to spy for him were Joe Kavanagh and Sergeant Ned Broy detectives in G division. The G-men, as they were known, were at the heart of British intelligence in Ireland. Having people on the inside was to prove an invaluable source of information for Collins.
   Early in 1918 Collins was arrested for making a speech against conscription in Legga, County Longford. During his many visits to Longford Collins would stay at the Greville Arms in Granard, run by "four beautiful sisters and their brother." Michael had fallen in love with Kitty , the second eldest sister. His chief rival for her hand was his comrade in the IRB, Harry Boland. Collins was jailed in Sligo but applied for bail. Once out on bail he went on the run.
   All over the country anti-conscription campaigns took place. The British decided to arrest the leading nationalists in an attempt to stop the anti-conscription protests. Collins was tipped off about the planned arrests by his informants and told de Valera and the Sinn Fein executive what was about to happen. They decided that they would win an even greater moral and political victory if they were arrested. Sean McGarry, the president of the IRB, was also arrested and Collins quickly succeeded him as the president of The Organisation, as it had become known.
   The arrests only succeeded in fuelling nationalist resentment even further. Collins and Harry Boland were now in effective control of the republican organizations and they set about preparing Sinn Fein for the forthcoming General Election. This came when Lloyd George called a snap election following the end of the First World War. The elections were a triumph for Sinn Fein. They won 73 seats, compared with 6 for the IPP. Michael Collins was elected unopposed for the South Cork constituency.
   On 21 January 1919, Sinn Fein's newly elected candidates assembled in Dublin's Mansion House to form the first national assembly in over a century. This day also marked the beginning of the War of Independence, when a group of Volunteers shot dead two policemen at Soloheadbeg in County Tipperary. The new parliament was to be known as Dail Eireann and it began by passing a declaration of independence. Only 27 of the 73 Sinn Fein TD's (members of parliament) could attend. Collins and his fellow TD Harry Boland were absent. They were in England organizing de Valera's escape from Lincoln Jail. Within five weeks the remaining republican prisoners were released. When the Dail reassembled in April, Eamon de Valera was elected its president. Cathal Brugha was appointed as Minister of Defence and Michael Collins became Minister for Finance.
   At the beginning of June 1919 de Valera left for America in order to raise funds, and did not return until the end of 1920. He was joined by Collins' close ally Harry Boland. Collins was now left with Cathal Brugha to manage the war effort at home. Brugha's suggestion that the Volunteers take an oath of allegiance to the Dail was agreed in August 1920. From now on the Volunteers became increasingly known as the IRA (Irish Republican Army). In September, Sinn Fein, the Volunteers and the Dail were all proscribed. The ban drove the Dail underground and Collins concentrated his efforts on maintaining the guerrilla warfare strategy, which was proving enormously successful. Collins' spies, especially Ned Broy, kept him informed about all developments within the British forces. Collins also established an IRA intelligence staff. The main figures in this were Liam Tobin, Frank Thornton and Joe O'Reilly. O'Reilly later became known as the "guardian angel" and was effectively Collins' right hand man. One description gives some idea of his relationship with Collins: "He was courier, clerk, messenger boy, nurse, slave." Collins had also selected a group of Volunteers, known as the Squad, for the purpose of executing British agents. One of these, a young man, only 18 years of age, called Vinny Byrne, carried out many of the executions. Before killing his victims from close range Byrne would often say the words "May the Lord have mercy on your soul." Det Sergeant Patrick Smith was the first victim of the Squad. From then on the Squad carried out a series of ruthless killings which struck terror into the British establishment in Ireland.


Vinny Byrne, head of Collins "12 Apostles" death squad.

   Collins had become the most wanted man in Ireland, with a price of £10,000 on his head. Luckily, the police did not have a good photograph of him and Collins was able to cycle about the city to one of his offices. If stopped, he always kept a cool head and joked with the police or soldiers. Collins' most important contact was now David Nelligan, who worked in Dublin Castle, the seat of British power in Ireland. Nelligan was able to tell Collins about the movements of British agents and the Black and Tans.


The Black and Tans, so-called because of the colours of their uniforms, were recruited specifically to deal with the IRA.

   The Black and Tans, so-called because of the colors of their uniforms, were recruited specifically to deal with the IRA. They quickly gained a reputation for viciousness. The War of Independence became even more ruthless, with terrible atrocities taking place on both sides. Colonel Sir Ormonde Winter was put in charge of the British Secret Service in Ireland. He brought in undercover agents, who had been working in Egypt, and they quickly became known as the "Cairo Gang". 


The Cairo Gang. This photograph was sent to Collins by one of his spies; it numbers and names the members.

   Collins realized he had to work quickly to avert this threat. By October 1920 he had the names of the Cairo Gang. On Sunday 21 November 1920 the IRA execution squads acted decisively. In hotels and boarding houses throughout the city they shot British agents. The Black and Tan retaliation was swift. That afternoon armored cars entered Croke Park where Dublin were playing Tipperary in a Gaelic football match. They shot dead fourteen people. It was one of the blackest days in Irish history and became known as "Bloody Sunday". It was a difficult time for Collins. He had lost many close colleagues, he was under constant pressure and the return of de Valera on Christmas Eve 1920 didn't help matters. The two men were completely different in temperament. Collins disliked de Valera's "brooding over every word, like a hen over an egg." In turn Collins' forthright style annoyed his older cabinet colleagues, Brugha and Stack.

   De Valera supported more conventional tactics in the war against the British. The burning of the Custom House in Dublin resulted in the loss of many Volunteers. Nevertheless, it had a demoralizing effect on the British. In the elections of May 1921, Sinn Fein once again swept the boards. Collins was elected in the six county area of Ulster, which had now been effectively partitioned off under the Government of Ireland Act. In June Lloyd George invited de Valera to London for talks without precondition. De Valera accepted and a Truce was set for 11 July, 1921. When the peace talks were set for October, Collins and Griffith were unexpectedly chosen to lead the Irish team of negotiators. On Saturday 8 October, while the rest of the peace delegation travelled to London, Collins became engaged to Kitty Kiernan. The peace negotiations began on 10 October, 1921 and lasted into December. On the 6 December Lloyd George gave the Irish delegation an ultimatum: sign or hostilities would resume. At 2.10am Collins signed. Lord Birkenhead remarked to Michael Collins: "I may have just signed my political death-warrant", whereupon Collins replied, "I may have signed my actual death-warrant".
   It was to prove a prophetic statement. Collins had always suspected that de Valera had sent him as a negotiator because it was a no-win situation. De Valera now rejected the Treaty. Collins' opponents, Brugha and Stack, as well as his comrade Harry Boland sided with de Valera. On the January 14th 1922, Dail Eireann ratified the Treaty, establishing southern Ireland - 26 of the 32 counties - as a Free State with dominion status. The Dail was now split into pro- and anti-Treaty camps. De Valera resigned and Michael Collins was elected Chairman of the Provisional Government. The Provisional Government had now to take over the evacuated British posts. The first occupation was Dublin Castle itself, where Collins arrived seven and a half minutes late for the changeover. Collins remarked to the British general "after seven and half centuries we won't begrudge you seven and a half minutes."

   Tension grew between the pro- and anti-Treaty sides throughout 1922. IRA units had taken over the Four Courts in Dublin in April. On the 28th June Free State troops began to bombard the building. The Civil War had begun. 


The shelling of the Four Courts building

   In Dublin, it took a week of intense fighting to dislodge the anti-Treaty forces. Cathal Brugha lost his life. Harry Boland, who had been Collins' closest friend in the early days of the struggle, was shot dead in the Grand hotel in Skerries on July 31st. The news devastated Collins and he wept uncontrollably. The bitterness of the conflict worsened with each day. Former comrades fought one another and families were split on the issue. The Provisional Government began to retake cities and towns held by the Republicans.
   On August 22, shortly after the death of Arthur Griffith, Michael Collins was on a tour of inspection in the Cork area. Returning in convoy from Bandon he was ambushed at Beal na mBlath (The Mouth of Flowers) and died immediately of a single gunshot wound to the head. De Valera, who was in the same area of Cork at the time, was shaken by the news.


Slievenamon - the armoured car which accompanied Collins on his last, and fatal, tour of inspection. It has been preserved in Plunkett Barracks, Curragh Camp, County Kildare.


Thousands of people lined the streets of Dublin for the funeral of Michael Collins in a display of public grief.

Collin's funeralCollin's funeral

   In 1966, while President of the Republic of Ireland, de Valera said: "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."

Michael Collins remembered

Thousands gathered at the roadside at Beal na mBlath on Sunday 24th August 1997 to commemorate the death of Michael Collins at this spot 75 years earlier.


Kitty Kiernan

   Ever since the Civil War, there have been many heated debates on whether Michael Collins had the authority to sign the Treaty Agreement with Lloyd George, Winston Churchill and  others at No. 10 Downing St. in London. 
   Michael Collins' own copy of the Plenipotentiary Document shows that Eamon deValera signed his name to a document which gave the delegation the authority to negotiate and conclude the Treaty.

ORGANIZATION

   In 1917, he was elected to the Sinn Fein executive. During 1917 and 1918, his activities included: creating an intelligence network, organizing a national loan to fund a rebellion, creating an assassination squad ("The Twelve Apostles") and an arms-smuggling operation. By 1920, Michael Collins was wanted by the British and had a price of #10,000 stg. on his head.
   In 1919, Michael Collins personally, with the help of his friend Harry Boland, another IRB man, went to Lincoln gaol in England to help Eamon de Valera escape. And, during the time de Valera was in America trying to raise money for Sinn Fein, Michael risked his life to regularly visit de Valera's wife Sinead and their children. Michael had a life-long love for older people and for children.

RETALIATION

   In January 1919, the Anglo-Irish War began with the first shots being fired at Soloheadbeg. Over the next year, the Royal Irish Constabulary became the target of a Sinn Fein terror campaign. Michael Collins orchestrated this campaign. He felt there would be much to gain by provoking England to war.
   By mid-1919, the IRB had infiltrated the leadership of the Volunteers and were directing its pace on the violence. Michael Collins had been made President of the IRB Supreme Council. At the same time, he was Minister for Finance in the Dail government and the commander of the IRA. In June of that year, de Valera left for America and Michael Collins became acting President after Arthur Griffith's arrest in December 1920.
   Although Collins and de Valera co-operated, there were differences between them. After the Easter Rising, de Valera had not rejoined the IRB. Cathal Brugha, de Valera's Minister for Defence in the Dail, resented Collins' popularity and his influence over the Volunteers. In an effort to assert control, Brugha had the Volunteers declared the Army of the Irish Republic (IRA).

A NEW MENACE

   Britain responded with violence. Special forces were sent over to impose curfews and martial law on the Irish. These forces became known as the Black and Tans after a popular Limerick hunt group, and because of their dark green and khaki uniforms. Another force of veterans from the Great War, called the Auxiliaries, joined them. Thus began a pattern of assassination and reprisal. The IRA employed guerilla tactics, using 'flying columns' to attack British troops. Their knowledge of the countryside made up for their lack of arms. The initial distaste for the killing of RIC men by the IRA gave way to outrage at the savageness of the Crown forces. The reprisals had the effect of identifying the British as the oppressors of the Irish people.
   On 21 November 1920, Michael Collins' squad assassinated 14 British officers, effectively destroying the British Secret Service in Ireland. In reprisal, the Black and Tans fired on a crowd watching a football match at Croke Park. Twelve people were killed, including one of the team players. The day became known as Bloody Sunday. News of this and other horrors became known throughout the world.

LOVE TRIANGLE

   During this period, Michael, who in the 1918 general election had been elected to Parliament representing South Cork, and Harry Boland, the MP for Roscommon, each vied for the affections of a Longford girl, Catherine Brigid, or more commonly, Kitty Kiernan. From the latter half of 1921 until his death, Michael and Kitty exchanged more than 300 letters. By year's end, Michael had succeeded in winning the fair Kitty and they became engaged.
   In May of 1921, the IRA set ablaze the Dublin Custom House, but Crown forces arrived in time to capture nearly the entire Dublin IRA Brigade. After this action, the IRA were desperately short of men and weapons, but at the same time, the British were completely demoralised with public opinion increasingly against continued repression. The commander of His Majesty's Crown forces in Ireland advised David Lloyd George to 'go all out or get out.' This began the treaty talks.

THE TREATY TALKS

   On 12 July 1921, the day after a truce was signed, de Valera led a delegation to London for exploratory talks with the British Prime Minister. These talks broke down after irreconcilable differences developed over the issue of an Irish Republic--a concession Lloyd George was not about to give.
   In September of that year, de Valera was elected President of the Irish Republic and he offered to negotiate as representative of a sovereign state. Lloyd George refused. He would allow peace talks only with a view of how Ireland might reconcile their national aspirations within a framework of the community of nations known as the British Empire.
   Knowing that neither a Republic nor a united Ireland could be won at such a conference, de Valera refused to attend. Instead, he sent Arthur Griffith and Michael Collins to head the Irish delegation. Neither Griffith nor Collins wanted to go. Michael Collins declared that he was a soldier, not a politician, but the issue went to the Cabinet and was decided by de Valera's casting vote.
   De Valera was the most experienced negotiator, but he chose instead, to send others to parley against the far more experienced British team. They were no match for the cunning Lloyd George, who was called the "Welsh Wizard." One historian called it the worst single decision of de Valera's life.
   Still, under tremendous pressure, the Irish delegation, with Collins and Griffith as chief negotiators, pressed for a united Ireland. Differences within the Irish delegation added to the difficulty, but Britain's refusal to consider anything less than dominion status, excluding Ulster created additional conflict. Michael Collins knew that a Republic that included Ulster was not possible under the present conditions, but he hoped for a boundary commission that would redraw the border to include much of Catholic Fermanagh and Tyrone in the newly created Free State. This left the problem of the Oath of Allegiance.
   A reworded oath might pass a Dail vote, Collins concluded, and though opposed by de Valera, would pave the way for future concessions once a British troop withdrawal was effected. Reluctantly, the delegation signed. Michael Collins knew it would be received badly in Dublin, but he decided that a step toward Irish independence was preferable to an all-out war that would ensure more bloodshed. Michael Collins spoke prophetically when, after signing the treaty he said, "...I tell you, I have signed my death warrant."
   The vote in favor of accepting the treaty was 64 to 57. Two days later, de Valera resigned his presidency and Arthur Griffith was elected in his place. A provisional government was formed in January 1922. Michael Collins was elected Chairman. Dublin Castle was surrendered to Michael Collins.

CIVIL WAR!

   Across the country, the IRA split into pro-Treaty or anti-Treaty forces. Many followed Collins, accepting that the Treaty gave the country the freedom to win freedom. Richard Mulcahy, the Minister of Defence, transformed these loyal troops into the Free State Army, while the anti-Treaty forces became known as the Irregulars.
   Collins made every effort to avoid a civil war. He drafted a new constitution which he hoped would be acceptable to the Republicans. The rebels had been Collins' comrades-in-arms and he desperately wanted to avoid such a tragedy, but his efforts failed. In a move to dislodge Republican troops who had taken over the building, on June 28th, Collins ordered the shelling of the Four Courts.
   In a controversial move, he armed both pro- and anti-Treaty IRA members in the North to defend the Catholic population, but by resorting to violence against the Treaty terms in the North, he legitimized armed resistance in the South. On 6 July 1922, the Provisional Government appointed a Council of War and Collins became Commander-in-Chief of the national Army.
   Opponents of the Treaty rallied to the cause. Fighting broke out in Dublin and Cathal Brugha was killed. The ten-month civil war had begun. The first phase was bloody and brief. By August, the better-equipped government forces had driven the Irregulars out of the main cities and towns, but the Republicans controlled much of the country area to the south and west.
   On 12 August 1922, Arthur Griffith died of a massive hemorrhage. He had never recovered from the strain of the Treaty negotiations.

BEAL NA MBLATH

   Eight days later, though ill with the stomach trouble that had plagued him for several months and suffering from a bad cold, Michael Collins left on a mission to visit troops in his home county of Cork. Warned not to go, he told his companion, "They wouldn't shoot me in my own county." As before, the words proved prophetic. Depressed and ill, he set out, some say, to try to end the fighting. At any rate, he visited several anti-Treaty men as well as inspecting various barracks. On the last day of his life, 22 August 1922, he set out from Cork in a convoy that passed through Bandon, Clonakilty, and Rosscarbery on its way to Skibbereen. He stopped at Woodfield, and there in the Four Alls, the pub situated across the road from the house where his mother had been born, he stood his family and escort to the local brew--Clonakilty Wrastler. On the return trip they again passed through Bandon. Michael Collins had only twenty minutes more to live. Around eight o'clock, his convoy was ambushed at a place known as Beal na mBlath--the mouth of flowers. Only one man was killed--Michael Collins. It is thought that Irregulars did the shooting, but some say that it might have been his own men. To this day, there is controversy about what actually happened.
   Stunned that anything could have happened to 'the Big Fellow' whose fame was, by now, legendary, Collins' men brought his body back to Cork where it was shipped to Dublin. His body lay in state for three days in the rotunda. The Belfast-born painter, Sir John Lavery, painted Collins in death, as he had in life. Tens of thousands filed past his casket to pay their respects, and even more lined the Dublin streets as the cortege made its way to Glasnevin for the burial.
   There have been many famous Irish patriots before him, and a few since, but none conjures up as much emotion and mystery as the man who, in a span of six short years, brought a country from bondage to a position where she could win her freedom. There are few left alive who remember Michael Collins, but his shape looms large on the Irish horizon.

   Glasnevin cemetery has, for a long time, been a national institution and, as the final resting place for more than a million Irish men and women, a real embodiment of the nation’s more recent past.


The Path to Freedom by Michael Collins

Michael Collins (1996) VHS DVD

Michael Collins: Motion Picture Soundtrack -- Elliot Goldenthal; Audio CD

Michael Collins: A Biography, Tim Pat Coogan; Paperback

In Great Haste: The Letters of Michael Collins and Kitty Kiernan, Michael Collins Hardcover

Michael Collins: The Secret File, A. T. Q. Stewart (Editor)

Michael Collins and the Troubles: The Struggle for Irish Freedom 1912-1922, Ulick O'Connor Paperback Nov 1996

The Path to Freedom, Michael Collins, Tim Pat Coogan Paperback

Rebels: The Irish Rising of 1916, Peter De Rosa

1916: The Easter Rising, Tim Pat Coogan

Chronology of Life

Michael Collins' own copy of the Plenipotentiary Document