3-Bicycle

Under the stairs you will see a replica model of Collins’ 28-inch custom made Rudge-Whitworth bicycle. Note its distinctive ‘high nelly’ handlebars and double-bracket frame. The bicycle played a crucial role throughout the revolutionary period. Both as a discreet and readily available mode of transport for guerrilla soldiers and also for couriers delivering messages and important information quickly and effectively. Collins, as the most wanted man in Ireland, used the bike as disguise as he cycled around Dublin ‘hiding in plain sight.’ posing as a business man.


This replica bicycle is a very big one, but how big was Collins? Contemporary police and intelligence reports place his height as being somewhere between 5” 9 and 5”11. Even for the time not overly tall. It is interesting to note that there are a couple of different origin stories as to how Collins got his famous ‘Big Fellow’ nickname. It has been claimed that Collins first received the moniker as a small child from his siblings as he was very mature and self-assured for his age. Another story states that Collins received the nickname in Frongoch internment camp in Wales that the he and other participants in the 1916 Rising were imprisoned. The nickname was said to derive from the fact that many of Collins’ colleagues thought he was a little over confident. As a result, they began applying the nickname ‘The Big Fellow.’ The most common origin story of the nickname is that he related to a combination of Collins’ physically large-frame and charismatic character. 


Please proceed to the next room, ‘The Drawing Room’, located through the door on the first floor and through the door on the right. When presented with the large model of 1900’s Clonakilty press the ‘Continue Tour’ button.