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A memento of Michael Collins — 8 Comments

  1. While it must be a grand feeling to own something that such a great man as MC once held in his hands,and the more so as it was given to one of your forebears, to me-looking on-the greater value is the reminder that MC, however famous, however much an Icon he undoubtedly is, was also once just some bloke whose sister worked down the post office (albeit in far away fabled London) and who got him a job as a boy clerk (ie dogsbody)for no doubt shit money so he could work his way through law school. One can just imagine MC as a young man hurrying to a lecture in his cheap ill fitting suit lighting his way through the London fog with that torch with no idea he would be the man who freed his people.

  2. I sometimes wonder if Collins’ experience of working-class life in London might have led him to a more sympathetic treatment of the poor than there was in the Free State after 1922, when one of the first measures was to cut a shilling from the Old Age Pension.

  3. The problem was the Treaty tied them to budgetary spending that prevented them from acting as they would wish. Remember the Irish regiments those drawn up in Ireland had their pensions paid by Dublin. Ditto the civil service, and the Trinity grant was continued too, as was the NUI one. They had less leeway than any chief sec ever. I believe that was to core issue why DeValera didn’t go for it. He was the only one of that entire group with even a modicum of real mathematical training.
    But to be honest I don’t think Collins would’ve made one iota of difference to the poor even if they had access to every goldmine on the globe.

  4. Ohh without a doubt the C naG government was instinctively against any sort of interventions and continued the pre 1890 policy of ejecting people off the island.

  5. In a way, yes. Perhaps if you think that CnaG and FG are the old Irish Parliamentary party(Bruton and Coveny types) with aspects of the Tory Unionists (think Kenny and Hogan types).
    Remember that in 1918 the franchised went from 100,000 to 800,000.

  6. Oh dear. The Unionist canard. I would have put Kenny and Hogan as All-for-Irelanders (look them up) and would never had any equivalent in the old Irish Unionist Alliance. A good deal of Nationalist and Sinn Fein rhetoric before independence consisted of the idea that Ireland was overtaxed in the United Kingdom and the shilling off the pension was entirely consistent with that, if brutal, and with anti-Treaty rhetoric about “fleshpots of Empire”. Universal benefits were not sacrosanct to the independence movement.

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