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PICTURE GALLERY: Centenary of Michael Collins’ death

August 31st, 2022 7:00 AM

By Southern Star Team

Helen Nyhan and Denis Fitzgerald from Kinsale were at Béal na Bláth. (Photo: Denis Boyle)

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The Michael Collinses at O’Mahony’s Bar in Newcestown as part of the village’s summer festival. (Photo: Michelle O’Keeffe)

Record-setting number of Michael Collinses hit ‘town

By Kieran O’Mahony

THEY came from all four corners of Ireland – as well as Nottingham –  to Newcestown last Sunday to answer the call to bring as many people named Michael Collins as possible to the same place and create a world record.

The unique event was held to conclude the village’s successful summer festival but also to coincide with the centenary commemoration of the death of Michael Collins, which had taken place earlier that day in nearby Béal na Bláth.

From three-year-old Michael Collins from Inniscarra – whose dad is also Michael – to 86-year-old Michael Collins from Bantry, 78 people with the same name turned up for the record breaking attempt.

From Derry to Galway and Dublin to Kerry, there was a party atmosphere at O’Mahony’s Bar as they registered for the event by presenting their IDs to festival organisers. Once registered they signed a special book and were presented with a certificate and t-shirt to mark the occasion and even a free pint!

Festival committee member Niall O’Mahony said they were ‘overblown’ by the numbers who showed up to answer their unique record breaking call.

‘We now have a record and register of the 78 Michael Collins who came here. It was incredible that so many travelled from all over the country and embraced our idea.

‘It was a fantastic way of remembering Michael Collins who had stopped off at the church here in the village while on the way to Bandon on that fateful day,’ said Niall. He is confident that they can add to the number of Michael Collins’ on their register and is encouraging others with the same name to come to Newcestown in the future.

Cork South West Independent TD Michael Collins, along with his son, also Michael, attended the event and he paid tribute to the festival committee for organising the event.

‘It was a fantastic day in Newcestown and one that will never be forgotten. Niall and the team did an extraordinary job in putting this event on,’ he said.

At the centenary commemoration of the death of Michael Collins at Béal na Bláth was Rachel J Cooper. (Photo: Denis Boyle)

Three generations of Michael Collins’ relations: Michelle Hurley, Coleman Collins, Nora Owen, Catherine O’Mahony, Christine Collins, Emma Hurley-Daniels, Fidelma Collins, Emilie, Charlie and Mollie Hurley-Daniels were at the Michael Collins centenary commemoration at Cork’s Imperial Hotel, with a painting of the General, by artist Mick O’Dea, which was commissioned by the Flynn family, owners of the hotel.

A group of cyclists from Valley Wheelers followed the Michael Collins Trail on Sunday to mark the centenary of his death at Béal na Bláth. The group visited all the significant historical sites and met Tánaiste Leo Varadkar at the end of their 135km cycle.

Leo Varadkar delivering the oration on Sunday.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin passing the original Sliabh na mBan armoured car which followed Michael Collins’ touring car on August 22nd 1922 to Béal na Bláth. The car was on loan on Sunday from the Curragh camp in Kildare. (Photo: Denis Boyle)

General Michael Collins visited No 6, the Square, Rosscarbery, hours before he died at Béal na Bláth. He was visitng the McDonald family, and this week a plaque was unveiled at the site, in his memory, by the local history society. Anne Outram and Maeve Smith, above, unveiled the plaque with Don Healy, chairman of Rosscarbery & District Historical Society. (Photo: George Maguire)

Caitlin McCarthy and Sarah Marie O’Sullivan in period costume for the Clonakilty Collins festival.

Nora Scannell and Michael O’Mahony in character for commemorations in Clonakilty. (Photo: Denis Boyle)

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