By Kieran O’Mahony and Pauline Murphy
A NEW podcast brings to life the tragic yet fascinating love story of Michael Collins and Kitty Kiernan.
‘My Dearest Kitty’ is an 11-part series of short videos by Michael Collins House Museum in Clonakilty on both the Anglo-Irish Treaty negotiations and the relationship between Kiernan and Collins as told through their correspondence of over 300 letters and telegrams, over 100 years ago.
‘It’s a fantastic series, with a great script by Michael Collins House historian Cal McCarthy that tells the story of the Anglo-Irish Treaty negotiations as well as detailing the early days of the tragic Michael Collins and Kitty Kiernan love story,’ said Jamie Murphy of Michael Collins House.
‘Most importantly it presents it in an accessible way that can be enjoyed by everyone.’
It was while the War of Independence was raging in 1920, that Collins fell in love with his best friend Harry Boland’s girlfriend Kitty Kiernan. When the truce was declared, the couple became engaged but he was sent to London to negotiate a peace treaty with the British government. The project, funded by the Cork County Council Commemorations Committee, is aired on the Michael Collins House YouTube channel and the first episode is now available. Episodes will be released daily until December 6th, the centenary of the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty. Meanwhile, another walking cane belonging to Collins is to be auctioned online by Fonsie Mealy Auctions in Kilkenny on December 7th. Lot 709 is titled ‘A Gift from the Big Fellow’ and is a heavy, wooden 19th century walking cane that Collins gifted to Patrick Baker, a barman in the Gresham Hotel. He had helped Collins get out of a tight situation when the crown forces raided the hotel looking for him.
The walking cane comes with an estimated price of between €3,000 to €5,000 but is certain to far exceed that.
Another walking cane of his fetched nearly €60k at a recent auction in Belfast.