Michael Collins

Three things you probably didn’t know about Michael Collins

August 11th, 2022 7:00 AM

By Niamh Hayes

General Michael Collins - did he play for Clonakilty GAA Club?

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A longer version of this article including ten interesting facts originally appeared in our 24-page Michael Collins 'DEATH OF A LEGEND' magazine which is free in this week's Southern Star. Get your copy in shops across West Cork or online via the Southern Star digital edition ➡️  http://bit.ly/2Z9T9Z1

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No matter how much time passes, Michael Collins will always remain a dominant figure in Ireland’s history. We all like to think we know a thing or two about him but there are plenty of lesser-known stories about the enigmatic man from Clon, says Niamh Hayes

1 - Tall Tales

Michael Collins was widely known as the Big Fella, an endearing nickname that followed him throughout his career.

While it might be assumed that the title referred to his physical appearance, Michael was quite an average height of 5ft 11in.

So, rather than the name reflecting his stature, it is thought that it more so referred to his dominant physical presence and ‘big’ personality.

2 - Big Personality

While Michael was adored by a lot of people, others who knew him thought he was somewhat overbearing.

His cousin Nancy described him as the sort of man that women would either take to instinctively or subconsciously wish to put down.

Some girls of his own background found him arrogant or overbearing. So maybe the nickname the Big Fella actually referred to his swollen head!

3 - Grave Mistake

Michael’s headstone in Glasnevin Cemetery bears the wrong birth date.

A date of October 12th 1890 is inscribed on the stone but Michael was actually born on October 16th.

His family plans on making this right this year, in time for the anniversary of his death, by redoing the headstone.

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A longer version of this article including ten interesting facts originally appeared in our 24-page Michael Collins 'DEATH OF A LEGEND' magazine which is free in this week's Southern Star. Get your copy in shops across West Cork or online via the Southern Star digital edition ➡️  http://bit.ly/2Z9T9Z1

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