Manager of Michael Collins House, Clonakilty Jamie Murphy on what we can expect from his centenary festival which kicks off on August 14th
Why are people so intrigued by Michael Collins?
I think Michael Collins is just someone that people can’t help but admire. He was young, charismatic, good looking and relatable to the ordinary people of Ireland. His life story really has it all; coming from meagre beginnings in West Cork, an underdog who stood up to the might of the British Empire, to chairman of the Irish Free State and then the Commander in Chief of the National Army and finally his tragic death at just 31 years leaving his fiancée, Kitty Kiernan heartbroken and much of the country heartbroken at the time. I think people still feel a sense of loss of what could have been had Collins lived and continue to be intrigued by his public and private life.
What are you looking forward to about the Michael Collins festival?
Having people come together from near and far to commemorate and remember Michael Collins on his anniversary, but also to learn about his life and celebrate his life. The programme of events for the festival is widely varied with everything from sports, music, theatre, history talks, walks and tours and so much more.
What’s your favourite exhibit in Michael Collins House?
I like the personal artefacts, little pieces that give an insight into the man behind ‘The Big Fella,’ like his personal copy of his mother’s memorial card. This is something he is said to have carried with him at all times and it shows his softer side. This year we also have his organisational diaries coming for display, which I’m looking forward to. They will give another insight into him.