FRESH flowers appeared on the grave of the revolutionary hero Michael Collins at Glasnevin Cemetery on Valentine’s Day.
Several bunches were placed on the grave by admirers of the revolutionary leader and politician, who was only 31 when he was shot dead at Béal na Bláth in 1922.
Although he never got to marry his fiancée Kitty Kiernan, Michael Collins continues to be a romantic figure and his funeral was one of the biggest ever witnessed in this country.
Sacristans Colette Sanders and Peter Martin kindly sent The Southern Star a photograph of the grave, which has to be cleared every week because of the volume of floral tributes.
‘Every Saturday morning of the year, a number of men – who call themselves the 22 Committee – come in at 8.30am and put flowers on the grave,’ said Peter.
All the flowers are paid for by Veronique Crombie, a lecturer at the French National Museum, but they are collected from the market by the committee members.
According to Peter, the committee is mostly made up of former soldiers, who banded together after correspondence related to Michael Collins at Collins Barracks in Cabra, but it will not die out with them because new blood has been added now in the form of their sons and grandsons.
West Cork woman Helen Collins, a grandniece of Michael Collins, told The Southern Star she is not at all surprised by the floral tributes.
‘He was such a charismatic man and is still highly regarded by so many people,’ she said.