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How should Collins be remembered? — 4 Comments

  1. To be frank what’s been going on has strong echoes of the endless ‘we won the war’ stuff that has been on the UK’s telly stations since the Brexit vote. And a bit dog whistlly given the near certainty SF will make the next government.
    On Collins. What’s so darn difficult to unpick are the coin-like narratives, where he is lionised on the one and destained on the tail.
    My twopenn’orth runs that he was way more left than either the FG of today or CnaG then. And equally more so than the DeV faction or Labour.
    While to the Military council. I suspect either during the Treaty negotiations, or very soon after an ultimatum was delivered on top of the ‘sign or else’ one telling him to bring the place under control.
    Now to go a bit off piste a bit.
    It struck me ten or so years ago when QE2&Co. was over for a visit that so unchanged was the place in administration and social structure that her grandfather could easily have recognised the place. Something that couldn’t be said about England.

  2. Collins had the great advantage of dying young so his fans could mythologise and speculate about “how great he would have been”. In reality nobody can ever say what sort of political leader he would have become. I had teh sense from his attitude to the Labour Party during elections that he was no leftie.

  3. I think if he was radical, it was rooted in anti-clericalims rather than any progressive ideology.

  4. Labour were asked by anti-Treatyites to intercede on behalf of Republican prisoners at one point. There were 17 Labour deputies elected to the third Dail, which Collins had not allowed to sit

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