Irish Guards and portrait of Michael Collins

Discussion in 'Infantry' started by pandaplodder, May 18, 2011.

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  1. I seem to remember the other year when the Irish Guards trooped their colour at Horseguards the BBC had recorded an interview in the officers mess and mention was made about the portrait of Michael Collins that was on display.

    Does anyone know of any online reference to this portrait being displayed?
     
  2. 140

    140

    Are you talking about the same Michael Collins as in one of the leaders of the IRA Flying columns in West Cork in the 30's.
     
  3. As in "the big fellah" (in fact that was the exact words of the BBC bloke) and Commander-in-chief of the National Army who was killed by the IRA in 1922, it was either hanging in the officers mess or in and around the adj's office.
     

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  4. If this is true* then I find it absolutely fascintaing, but at the same time it should come as no surprise. Michael Collins - despite his later manifestation as practitioner of guerilla warfare and intelligence ops - is an unusual character in the list of Irish Republicans of the period 1916-22. I recall a documentary around the 80th anniversary of his death, which pointed out that historical examination of his early writings showed that at one point Collins had been what one might term an Empire Loyalist, and had written an interesting essay indicative of this, as part of his entrance examination to the British Civil Service, which he served in from 1906-10. He was also more of an old school Irish nationalist as opposed to a Republican, though he was a member of the oath-bound IRB (which was a different creature to the later IRA; indeed, this distinction came to the fore during the Civil War).

    During the Treaty negotiations, Collins was known to have gotten on very well Churchill, who in later years was said to have become upset when mention of Collins was made. In fact, it would not be an exaggeration to say that there was a good degree of grudging respect for Collins as and adversary on the British side. It has been suggested that had Collins lived, there is every chance he would have taken the Irish Free State in a very different direction than DeValera, and may have become a figure not unlike Jan Smuts of South Africa. Bear in mind that Churchill supplied the 18 pdr. artillery pieces with which Collins shelled the anti-Treaty forces in the Four Courts; I remember playing on one of them as a child during my father's reserve training.

    As an aside, soldiers of the Irish Guards are known to have cheered Irish Nationalist leader John Redmond when he visited London a few years before the Great War. His brother Willie died on 7th June 1917 at Messines Ridge whilst serving as a Major in the Royal Irish Regiment (as then was), and his son William served as an officer in the Royal Dublin Fusiliers and Irish Guards.

    *according to Galloglass Père, mention was made of the Michael Collins portrait in the Irish Guards' Mess over the past few days on RTÉ television coverage of the Queen's visit.
     
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  5. There is a Collins painting in Enda Kenny's office now, he and the Queen were sitting below it yesterday.
     
  6. No that was Tom Barry and It was in the early twenties to be pedantic
     
  7. West Cork Flying Column was commanded by Tom Barry - an astute tactician for a Gunner sergeant!

     
  8. Oh definatly a massive headache for the local forces and of course his actions were deemed significant enough for requests to be made to repatriate him to england apparently
     
  9. Barry was himself an interesting fellow.
     
  10. Yeah especially with his understandable semi on the fence attitude when it came to later actions certainly had an interesting career post war of independance.
     
  11. Fascinated me when I saw it, made me look at Collins in a different light and to an extent find him inspirational because he died for his beliefs (which weren't those of the IRA). At the time of the Civil War starting there must have been some British troops down in the Free State as you pointed out the Irish National Army borrowed both 18 pdrs and aircraft.

    I'm surprised that no one who has been involved with the Regiment has made any comments yet..
     
  12. Wasn't Collins a homosexual?
    Maybe he did some fraternising whilst in London...
     
  13. He was engaged at time of his death to Kitty Kiernan and was one for the ladies by all accounts, not sure where where your getting that from? maybe your getting confused with one of the others?
     
  14. Mr_Fingerz

    Mr_Fingerz LE Book Reviewer

    If he was it would have come as a huge suprise to his fiancée Kitty Kiernan.

    So I think that you can take that as a "No".
     
  15. I presume you are talking about the leader of the orginal ASU / "the Squad" in the 1910s/20s (given that he died in 1922)!


    You do know that Collins did plan to invade Northern Ireland?

    That should read Anti-Treaty IRA, Collins was a member of the IRB and a leader of the IRA (the IRA spilt at the time of the Anglo-Irish Treaty) - does pro-Treaty became the Pro-Treaty IRA (and became the National Army) and the Anti-Treaty IRA (descendents of the PIRA and RIRA etc).