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Lost Leaders - Michael Collins

1890 - 1922

Michael Collins served as the brains of the IRA during the War of Independence, and having negotiated the Treaty with Britain, became Minister of Finance in the Provisional Government that followed. On the outbreak of the Civil War he resigned that post to take command of the National Army. His death at age 31 in an ambush on a country road deprived Ireland of a charismatic leader and changed the course of Irish history.
Beal na mBlath, August 22nd, 1922
Michael Collins was returning from a visit to Munster when his convoy was ambushed at Beal na mBlath (the Mouth of Flowers) in Co. Cork. Because the main road was blocked his convoy had taken a back road, running into an anti-Treaty ambush party that was just about to give up waiting for him. The fight
lasted about 30 minutes, during which time Collins was shot and killed. He was wearing this greatcoat when he died.

NMIHE:EW.42a: Greatcoat worn by Michael Collins when he was killed, still with dried mud from Beal na mBlath.


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