The Assassination of Michael Collins: What Happened at Béal na mBláth?

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He played a leading role in the War of Independence, and would have been expected to hold a Cabinet seat or other high office in the post-war government.

| The Assassination of Michael Collins: What Happened At Béal na mBláth?

What happened at Beal na mBlath? Official policy was in place: Boland was unarmed when taken.

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This was never disputed by either side. Why then was a military manoeuvre mounted to seize him? Yet two days later, on the 30th, Boland was taken: What happened is only discernible through a haze of conflicting reports. Related post at this blog: Like myths, books can either illuminate facts, or obscure them. Are some new books part of the same old coverup? How to tell good books from other kinds? Writing about Michael Collins tends to fall into three categories: The first and best is by authors whose aim is to enable the public, and future historians, to better understand what happened: Such authors present their own opinions on the case in this context, as opinions, while encouraging further research and critique.

The second category would be by authors whose chief purpose is to focus on their own particular theory of what happened; who aim to persuade us that their theory is the right one. Whether it is or not, they, too, often unearth valuable research and raise important issues. Within the second is a third, more suspect group, such as often crops up where politics are concerned: Created, that is, in order to obscure the facts. These may come disguised, to attract an unsuspecting public: Some have even come decorated by academic credentials from lofty institutions.

Confusion which, in turn, disarms criticism and resistance. Resistance to … most questionable proceedings indeed. Such works and the writers thereof, being otherwise beneath our notice, shall remain nameless here.


Writing about the death of Collins. What I here make public has, after a long and scrupulous inquiry, seemed to me evidently true … Whether it be so or no, I am content the reader should impartially examine. Not having grown up in Ireland, there was no pressure of Civil War loyalties to either side, in my background. Nor had I any preconception whatever as to how he died. At first, I accepted the sketchy standard version which appears in most biographies of him.

As my interest and acquaintance with the topic grew deeper, I gradually became dissatisfied with that version.

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Initially, only a little dissatisfied; until at last I grew convinced that his death had not been adequately investigated; neither at the time it happened, nor subsequently by historians. In my own writing, I sought to present both sides, in a style digestible not only for general readers, but also for enthusiasts who might sympathize with either the pro-Treaty or anti-Treaty viewpoints: People in Ireland are well-used to this technique; with which they have been sadly acquainted ad nauseum throughout The Troubles of the 20th century; and in the surrounding debate, ever since.

I trust in the public, in future generations, and in the passage of time, to ultimately sort true from false, among conflicting claims about the life and death of Michael Collins. Looking forward to the Centenary, I again urge all individuals and institutions holding such materials, to cooperate in realizing this, with speed. I also repeat my call for an independent forensic examination of his remains; which could conclusively answer many points now debated in theory.

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I encourage those with an interest to examine all writings about Michael Collins. Then, you be the judge. Readers of this blog are sure to find this article of great interest indeed: As discussed on this blog below: The Assassination of Michael Collins: Create a free website or blog at WordPress. It would take average folks 22 years to save enough for the deposit on a Dublin house.

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Book casts new light on the death of Collins: modern Ireland's unsolved mystery

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