Collins' gran had recipe for local icon

April 15th, 2019 5:50 PM

By Kieran O'Mahony

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AS if the legends around Michael Collins couldn’t get any more interesting, now it seems that one of his closest relations was responsible for one of West Cork’s most iconic brands.

Last week it was revealed that Collins’ grandmother Johanna O’Brien was the originator of the recipe for the world-famous Clonakilty Blackpudding.

Nora Owen – a grandniece of Michael Collins – spilled the beans, as it were, at an event in Galway and it was subsequently reported by the Tuam Herald.

She explained how Michael’s grandmother, Johanna O’Brien, who lived at Sam’s Cross near Clonakilty, was the originator of the recipe for Clonakilty Blackpudding, which she made in the 1880s.

Johanna’s blackpudding was sold to Philip Harrington, who ran a butcher’s in Clonakilty, and when she retired, she passed the recipe to Mr Harrington. 

The same recipe was passed down through generations and is still used by Colette Twomey and her Clonakilty Food Company. Colette is now the only person who knows the secret spice mix.

Speaking to The Southern Star, Colette Twomey said she was always aware of the connection between her blackpudding and Michael Collins’ family.

‘We always had Johanna’s picture on our website and it’s the same photo that is in Michael Collins House in Clonakilty,’ said Colette.

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