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Author claims gold led Michael Collins into anti-Treaty territory

February 12th, 2017 7:20 AM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Collins: Cork author claims he has unearthed new evidence

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A SOON-to-be-published book by a Cork author claims gold was the reason why Michael Collins ventured into the heart of anti-Treaty territory in 1922, shortly before his death at Beal na Bláth.

Barry Keane, author of Massacre in West Cork, which re-investigated the notorious Dunmanway massacre in 1922, is set to release his new book Cork’s Revolutionary Dead in June.

He believes he has unearthed, for the first time, new documents and insights from archives which examine specific incidents throughout that year to show that what happened at Beal na Bláth should not have been a surprise to anyone.

‘It was a rough year for him and I’m surprised he made it so far. It always seemed daft to me that he made that journey from Clonakilty to Beal na Bláth at a time when the area was full of anti-Treaty supporters and no one has really looked into detail about why he made that journey,’ Barry told The Southern Star.

‘My book unearths new evidence which will bring to light certain reasons for making the journey.’

Barry, who teaches history and geography in Cork city, will be presenting the second in a series of history talks organised by Michael Collins House in Clonakilty on Thursday February 16th at 7.30pm in the Parish Centre, Clonakilty – the old National School which Michael Collins attended.

The theme of the talk will be ‘Michael Collins 1922: The Year of Living Dangerously’ and it will discuss the last year of Michael Collins’ life from the time he came out of the shadows in July 1921 to his death on August 22nd 1922. The talk is based on a chapter from the book – one of 15 in total – that covers major incidents including Kilmichael, Crossbarry and Clonmult, and Barry says detailed new evidence will be revealed that tells the true story of these events.

Entry is free to the event and all are welcome. For more information contact Michael Collins House on 023-8858676.

‘Cork’s Revolutionary Dead’ by Barry Keane will be published in June by Mercier.

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