THEY came from all four corners of Ireland – as well as Nottingham – to Newcestown on Sunday August 21st 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 Col-lins 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.