We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Ronan O'Gara (R) unveiling the new statue in Cork today. Darragh Kane

Hundreds gather to watch new statue of Michael Collins be unveiled in Cork City

The statue is a “nostalgic nod” to an iconic photograph taken of him in Wexford in 1922.

DESPITE THE RAIN, hundreds of people turned out for the unveiling of a new statue in Cork City today.

A near life-size statue of Collins, standing with his bicycle, was revealed to a large crowd on the Grand Parade in the city this afternoon.

The statue, which was spearheaded by the Collins family and Michael Collins 100 committee, is a “nostalgic nod” to the iconic photograph – taken of him in Wexford in 1922.

img519 4 Michael Collins with his Pierce bicycle in Wexford in 1922.

The site was chosen as on 12 March 1922 Collins attended a rally on Grand Parade, where delivered a passionate speech to a reported crowd of 50,000 people.

Collins’ convoy would have also passed the area on the morning of 22 August 1922, on his journey from the Imperial Hotel, where he spent his last night, on route to Béal na Bláth where he was shot dead later that day.

6832672204_8652cbd75a_b Collins delivered a passionate speech to a crowd of 50,000 people in March 1922.

The statue now sits at the exact spot where Collins gave his speech over a century ago.

Sculptor Kevin Holland was commissioned to create the new statue and the piece is being described as a “monument for the people, from the people” funded through a crowd-funding scheme spearheaded by the Michael Collins 100 committee.

DK20102023 Collins 020 Members of the public gathering at the unveiling the new statue of Michael Collins on Grand Parade, Cork. Darragh Kane Darragh Kane

The name of every person who made a contribution to the fundraising drive is in a “time capsule” which has been placed in the plinth of the statue.

Holland also created the landmark statue of Collins in Clonakilty.

Minister for Finance Michael McGrath said he was delighted to see the statue.

McGrath said: “I think it is important and it is appropriate that his (Collins) role in a securing Irish independence and the formation of our State would be acknowledged and recognised.

“I am delighted to see such sporting stars being part of the unveiling of the tribute to Michael Collins today,” he added.

DK20102023 Collins 011 Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Kieran McCarthy, Jimmy Barry-Murphy, Rena Buckley and Ronan O’Gara unveiling the new statue of Michael Collins on Grand Parade, Cork. Darragh Kane Darragh Kane

Speaking at the event, Michael Collins 100 Committee chairman Tim Crowley said: “This statue not only symbolises Collins but that whole generation of men and women who took on a military empire and trailblazed the way for us today.

“We were honoured to have three Cork sporting legends unveil the statue – all extraordinary people in their own right like Collins himself,” Crowley said.

An armoured car “Sliabh na mBan” from the convoy that made the historic journey on the day of Michael Collins’ death was also on show, and Cork singing legend John Spillane performed his new Michael Collins song for the very first time.

Fidelma Collins, grand-niece of Michael Collins and his closest living relative, said: “The Collins family are absolutely thrilled to be here with you all today.

“The Michael Collins 100 committee were superb and a driving force to work with. Thank you to everyone who made this happen. You are all acknowledged in a capsule that we have at the base of the statue.”

Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Kieran McCarthy said: “This statue will add to the great sense of history and the great sense of place in Cork City.”

Additional reporting by Olivia Kelleher

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel