8-Michael Collins room 2

Michael & Kitty

Just before the Treaty negotiations Michael Collins became engaged to Kitty Kiernan, from Granard in County Longford. Collins had first met Kitty in 1917 while electioneering for the Longford by-election and competed for her affections with his close friend Harry Boland before eventually winning her hand. The pair were due to be married on a number of occasions throughout 1922 but due to the Civil was it was postponed until October 1920.

Beal Na Blath

Unfortunately the wedding wasn’t meant to be. On August 22nd 1922 Michael Collins, as Commander in Chief of the newly formed Free State Army, came on a tour of Cork to gather funds for the new Free State government and possibly to negotiate a truce between the warring factions of the Civil War. On the return journey his convoy was ambushed by Anti-Treaty forces at Beal na Blath and Michael Collins received a fatal gunshot wound to the head.

He was just 31 years old when he died. In a very short period Collins had helped achieve what many had attempted and failed to do, freedom for Ireland;

‘Not the ultimate freedom all nations desire... but the freedom to achieve freedom.’

Unfortunately Collins would not get the opportunity to achieve this ultimate freedom himself but the legacy he left behind laid the path.