By Pauline Murphy
CUTLERY used by Michael Collins in a Skibbereen hotel has sold at auction for €6,500, well above its guide price of €2,000.
There was heated bidding at the ‘Collector’s Cabinet’ auction in Mullen’s Auctioneers Co Wicklow, for the knife, fork and spoon mounted on a shamrock shaped banner.
The cutlery was used by the Big Fella for a meal at The Eldon Hotel when he stopped there on August 22nd, 1922. Later that evening he was shot dead at an ambush in Béal na Bláth. The hotel manager had the cutlery mounted on the silk banner and presented it to Collins’ fiancée Kitty Kiernan.
After her death in 1945, it was passed onto Kitty’s sister Maud. It then passed through Maud’s husband’s family and had previously sold at Sheppards Auctioneers in 2013 for €2,000.
It’s not yet known who purchased the item. Tim Crowley of the Michael Collins Centre Museum near Timoleague said he had been involved in the bidding, but as a family-run business, he had to put a limit on what he was going to offer. Other Collins items which went under the hammer at Mullen’s Auctioneers included a collection of photographs. The pictures of Collins, dating from 1921, were sold for €550.
A Michael Collins centenary medal fetched €300. The silver plated medals were commissioned in 2022 by the Collins 22 Society to mark the centenary of the Big Fella’s death.
Only 50 were made and they were presented to members of the Collins family, the Taoiseach, Tánaiste and President of Ireland.