By S M Sigerson
When he was shot in 1922, Michael Collins was poised to lead Ireland into a new era of national reconstruction. There is little doubt that his loss changed forever the young nation’s formative development, yet no record of any official inquiry into his death has come down to us. We still don’t know what happened. Who was responsible? It’s time for a full public inquiry so we can discover the truth.
The year: 1922. Against all odds, beyond the rebels’ “wildest dreams in 1916,” the mighty British Empire has capitulated. Independence, which the moral force of a small nation had long since won on paper, was now to become a reality. In six years, a virtual handful of gunmen had wrested it from a superior British military presence, which outnumbered them ten to one.
Michael Collins, youthful head-centre of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, chief strategist of these insurgents, was also an elected representative of the new, native government: member for South Cork, Minister of Finance and Director of Intelligence.
Conscripted to lead peace negotiations, he is also dead centre of ensuing controversy over the resulting Treaty. Although granting much that Ireland “had wanted these past seven hundred years,” the Treaty controversy turns to conflict, and conflict to civil war. A band of brothers is shattered into fraternal violence.
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Mrs Brown’s Boys star Brendan O’Carroll pulled in more than five million viewers in Ireland and Britain on Thursday night, as he discovered the truth about his grandfather’s murder on the BBC family history programme Who Do You Think You Are?
The popular comedian delved into his family’s history, most notably the circumstances surrounding his grandfather’s death. Peter O’Carroll was murdered in 1920, by members of the British auxiliary army, the Black and Tans, during the Irish War of Independence.