TODAY IS THE anniversary of the death of General Michael Collins. On this day 91 years ago Michael Collins was shot dead at Béal na Bláth in his home county of Cork.
The Defence Forces chose the anniversary of his death to unveil a memorial to the first Commander in Chief of the National Army.
Cathal Brugha Barracks
The new black marble stone memorial plaque, which includes a photo, is situated in Cathal Brugha Barracks in Rathmines, a place synonymous with Michael Collins. It was from here that Collins led the embryonic National Army in 1922. He also lived in quarters here which are currently occupied by the Defence Forces School of Music and his office was located in the now 2nd Brigade Training Centre.
The picture below is featured on the plaque and shows Collins walking through Cathal Brugha Barracks with a young civilian piper, Alphonsus Culloten, behind him. It was taken as he returned from a memorial service on the 7 August 1922 , a number of days before Collins himself was fatally wounded in Cork. The photo was researched by the barrack barber, Private Noel O’Donnell.
General Michael Collins August 1922 Ireland. (Picture credit: Irish Defence Forces/Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORB)
At today’s ceremony, Michael Collins’ grand-niece, Helen Collins laid a wreath on the memorial plaque. The Chief of Staff of the Irish Defence Forces Lieutenant General Conor O’Boyle said that it was a “very fitting memorial” to the memory of Michael Collins and he commended the soldiers for proposing to honour the first Commander in Chief in this way.
Here is the footage of Michael Collins’ funeral: