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Centenary of the Death of Michael Collins (1890-1922)

Photo of Michael Collins (1890-1922), in uniform, as a young recruit

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Michael Collins (1890-1922): Irish Revolutionary Leader and Statesman

The centenary of the death of Michael Collins is being marked today. A key figure in Ireland’s War of Independence, chief negotiator (with Arthur Griffith) of the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921, Michael Colllins was killed in an ambush at Béal na Bláth, in his native county of Cork, on this day (22 August) in 1922. It brought to an end a short life but one that left behind an legacy of immense significance for Ireland and the Irish people.

No single volume could completely encapsulate the life of such an extraordinary figure and the times in which he lived. A whole series of books would be required and still questions would remain. That said, three books published under the imprint of The Manuscript Publisher and available to buy online, highlight and illustrate the diverse range of views, regard and appreciation that surround Michael Collins, his life, his role in shaping Irish history.


Native Freeborn Irishman

Native Freeborn Irishman represents the author, Seán O’Donoghue’s testimony to “how a deep-sea diver was influenced by the actions of General Michael Collins and others, from tales told to him at his father’s fireside.”

This is not a book that is in any way ‘about’ Michael Collins but it does represents testimony to how he has come to be regarded, by some at least, of the generations that followed and who inherited his legacy. What it does contain is a rich seam of personal reflections from an author who lived an adventurous and colourful life of his own though not without personal cost. Read about his travels to Malaysia, Egypt, the North Sea to work as a deep-sea diver; the tragedies he witnessed as part of the rescue mission following the Piper Alpha oil rig disaster of July 1988; his lives and loves, the friends that he made along the way are all chronicled in lucid and vivid poetry and in prose.

Sadly, Seán passed away in 2019 but he too has left behind a rich legacy in the form of his writings, contained in the book, Native Freeborn Irishman, published under the imprint of The Manuscript Publisher, and available to buy online.

The Truth about the Irish Civil War

Author and historian, Jack Kiernan offers a somewhat different view, not just of Collins but of the Irish Civil War (1922-1923), which will come across as radically at variance and even at odds with what many people would like to believe to be the case.

His book Why Did They Lie? The Irish Civil War, the Truth, Where and When it All Began, delves into hitherto unknown aspects of Ireland’s Civil War, including Michael Collins, who gets a chapter to himself. His is a candid assessment, not exactly flattering but a welcome one for the manner in which it ignites debate about certain troubled, murky aspects of Irish history that remain unanswered or unresolved to this day.

Why Did They Lie? The Irish Civil War, the Truth, Where and When it All Began by Jack Kiernan is published under the imprint of The Manuscript Publisher and available to buy online, in print and e-book editions.

The Dawning of the Day

Last but not least, The Dawning of the Day by Liam Nevin is a sweeping epic of interweaving tales following the lives, loves, trials and tribulations of three families, set against the backdrop of a turbulent decade in Irish history (the Decade of Centenaries, commencing with the 1913 Lockout and concluding with the Irish Civil War and the establishment of an Irish Free State) and one of great upheaval the world over.

In the following passage, taken from the Foreword to the book, the author describes what motivated and prompted him to undertake what is his most ambitious work to date:

I never remembered being taught much about that time when I was at school in the sixties. It was probably too painful or too embarrassing for those who lived through it. Most history books went only as far as the Anglo-Irish War, when Ireland had ‘won her freedom’. I remember the enmity that existed between neighbours when I was growing up in the fifties and sixties. I struggled to understand why some families were for and others against the Treaty of 1921. My research would lead me to the answer.

The Dawning of the Day by Liam Nevin is published under the imprint of The Manuscript Publisher and available to buy online, in print and e-book editions.

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