BY PAULINE MURPHY
A LOCK of Michael Collins’ hair is up for auction on March 15th in Belfast.
Taped to a card with the ‘Erin go Bragh’ emblem stamped on it, the chestnut brown lock of hair was passed through the Cronin family to the current vendor.
Three years after the death of Michael Collins, his fiancée Kitty Kiernan married his army comrade Felix Cronin, in 1925. The couple had two sons, one they named Michael Collins. Felix and Kitty shared a devotion to the ‘Big Fella’ but their marriage was not a happy one. Felix was a heavy drinker and Kitty suffered from kidney disease. They also endured money problems and Kitty parted with one of her most prized possessions, an oil painting of Michael Collins, when it was auctioned during one of their dire financial spells. She died in 1945 at the age of 52.
The lock of hair from Michael Collins, which was held with deep affection, now makes its way to auction and even though it comes without an estimated hammer price, its sentiment is priceless.
A cane which had been on loan to the Michael Collins House museum in Clonakilty will once again find itself under the hammer, along with a script from the Neil Jordan Michael Collins film signed by Liam Neeson.
Also up for grabs at Bloomfield Auction Rooms is a Smith and Wesson revolver (below) which was carried by Collins in 1919 while springing Eamon de Valera from Lincoln Prison