SENATOR Tim Lombard (FG) is urgently trying to arrange a meeting with the new owner of a walking stick that once belonged to General Michael Collins.
The walking stick was purchased by Dublin hotelier and publican Louis Fitzgerald at auction in Belfast for €60,000, and is now on display in a pub in Rathcoole, Co Dublin.
Mr Fitzgerald also owns the football used during the infamous Bloody Sunday game between Dublin and Tipperary in 1920, and one of Michael Flatley’s shoes from Riverdance.
He told those who gathered to witness the installation of his latest historical purchase, behind the bar at the Poitín Stil in Rathcoole last week that, ‘the stick is going to be there for everybody to see, rather than having it locked up.’
However, not everyone is happy to hear that the walking stick is on display in a pub in Dublin.
‘I am trying to arrange a meeting with the new owner of the walking stick,’ senator Tim Lombard told The Southern Star.
‘It would be important that such an item belonging to Michael Collins, who was born and died here in West Cork, should go on display in his home place.
‘This is especially important, given the centenary of his death at Béal na Bláth, next year. I will hopefully hear back from the owner and arrange a meeting with him,’ said the senator.
There have been other calls for this important artefact to be put on display in West Cork.
‘While we already have a walking stick on loan, that did belong to Michael Collins, on display at the Michael Collins House here in Clonakilty, it would be good to have any item on display, even for a short period of time, associated with General Collins here in Clonakilty given upcoming anniversary next year,’ Jamie Murphy of the Michael Collins House said.
The Southern Star requested a comment from Mr Louis Fitzgerald and also asked if he would consider allowing the walking stick to be displayed in West Cork. There was no reply available.