Seeing red over image of Michael Collins in pink

January 18th, 2023 11:45 AM

By Kieran O'Mahony

The image of Collins which has caused offence.

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A GRANDNIECE of Michael Collins has said that a print image of Michael Collins showing him carrying Dior and Chanel designer shopping bags is in ‘very bad taste.’

The print, which was designed by artist Will St Leger, is  being used by a public relations firm – Elevate PR – to promote a retail event in Dublin.

Speaking to The Southern Star about the print, which shows Collins in his army uniform, which has been changed to bright pink, Helen Collins said: ‘It’s in very bad taste.’

‘It’s sad for everyone who wears the uniform of Ireland and who gave their life to Ireland,’ said Helen.

‘I think it’s particularly distasteful to associate him with excessively priced consumer goods, which would represent the antithesis of everything he believed in.’

Helen also believes that it shows a lack of empathy with our history and it is also  poorly-timed, given the fact that it is the centenary year of a horrific civil war which affected every family in Ireland.

The print is called Duty Free State (Collins Rising) and was created by Will St Leger in 2006. Elevate PR defended its use, telling The Southern Star that Will St Leger ‘is in the tradition of artists such as Warhol and Banksy who question contemporary culture through their artwork’.

Meanwhile, a public information event with details of a new Michael Collins statue for Cork city centre will take place in the City Library on Saturday January 14th, and the site for the statue will be finalised by the end of the month.

The event is being organised by the Michael Collins 100 Committee, which is behind the placing of a new Michael Collins statue in the city centre, in partnership with Cork City Council.

‘Members of the public who wish to learn more about the new Michael Collins statue project are very welcome to attend and there will be two sessions at the City Library beginning at 2pm and 4pm,’ said a spokesperson.

The information event will be chaired by Cork City librarian David O’Brien and the speakers will be Alan Noonan, Cork City Council historian; Fidelma Collins, grandniece of Michael Collins; Kevin Holland, sculptor of the new statue and Tim Crowley, chair of the Michael Collins 100 committee.

A fundraising campaign is also making great progress.

‘Most individuals, businesses and companies are making contributions into the Michael Collins 100 committee’s bank account, but it is also possible to contribute using the GoFundMe page,’ said the spokesperson.

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