Michael Collins and the Provos
Long vilified by the Republican leadsership of the O Conaill /O Bradaigh strain, as a Free Stater and a traitor, Collins
has been embraced and pushed to the forefront once again by Provo leaders like Adams
I suppose that this makes alot of sense when you step outside of this whole situation and look in. Adams has done similar things to Collins, though Gerry was never as wildly successful as the Big Fella. Gerry and the Provos signed over Republican prisoners' political status as well as other things hard-earned by Republican Volunteers throughout the conflict.
This man is idolized by Adams & company. This man, who signed six gerrymandered counties of a nine-county province of our island over to the Brits. Did you know that you can buy a 90Euro bronze statue of Collins
in the Provisional Sinn Fein bookshop? Absolutely villainous! A man long proclaimed a traitor of the worst kind by people calling themselves Republicans, now propped up as some sort of out-and-out hero? Only the Provo think-tank could spin a story like this and get away with it.
Republicans very well could have forgiven Collins for the signing the Treaty, the same way they did with Robert Barton
. He hadn't signed his "death warrant" until he attacked the Four Courts
. He got what he deserved, and it should be remembered as such by Republicans.
Collins' contribution to the War of Independence
was obviously an important one, but Brugha's
were no less impressive. The reason they aren't as well remembered is primarily because they died fighting for the "wrong" side in the eyes of the Free State's education system.
Collins, however, was a great man. He just happened to have been put in a terrible position for any person to be in. The Republican leadership chose the wrong men to represent them at the negotiating table in Britain. Collins could not bear the thought of losing countless more men to British forces, and Griffith
was not a soldier but a politician.
Mick did many great things, including leading the group which eventually dismantled the British intelligence network in Dublin and the rest of Leinster. He also supervised and organised many of the most spectacular attacks and events of the Tan War (i.e. 14 dead British agents in Nov 1920, springing DeValera from Lincoln in 1919, etc).
But, it is my opinion that Collins should have remained in Ireland and fought the war instead of playing the politician and selling off counties he had no right to sign away.
It is today that Ireland remembers Michael Collins, on the 82nd anniversary of his death at Beal na mBlath
, Co. Cork.