“Rage and Shame and Disappointment”
Collins (Micheal) A very good T.L.S. with manuscript postscript, to Miss D. Barotn of Annamoe House, Glendalough, 12 February 1920, on Dail Eireann Finance Dept. notepaper, signed ‘Do chara / M. O C.’, acknowledging notes and application forms (presumably relating to the Dail Loan), and concluding, ‘Yes indeed it was simply disastrous about Bob. Acutally at the time of writing this (Wednesday evening) I am full o hope on the question,’ and with a manuscript postscript, ‘Now I’m smarting under a felling of rage & shame & disapointment.’
With a Dail compliments sheet inscribed by Collins, ‘Also Bob’s charge sheet etc. / I’m positively heart broken on the business,’ The explanation for Collins’ unusual feelings of rage, shame and disappointment relates to an unsuccessful attempt to rescue Barton after his court appearance. Armed Volunteers held up a British Army lorry in broad daylight in Dublin, and searched it, expecting to find Barton; but they had the wrong lorry and he was not there. Collins did not often make a mistake in such matters. (2)More details ›
Collins (Micheal) An interesting T.L.S. to Miss (Dulcibella) Barton, on plain paper dated 15.6.1921 (some three weeks before the Truce), thanking her for a copy of Canon Kiely’s letter. ‘Yes, the thing should certainly be rubbed in now. This fellow, Supple, won’t be so anxious to ill treat some Irish prisoner in Nottingham now.’
‘I am sorry I did not see you after the last visit. it has been more and more difficult for me to keep a breast of things, as matters have been rather hard.’
With a good signature, ‘Yours sincerely / Michael Collins’.
Supple presumably had been accused of ill-treatin irish prisoners. ‘rather hard’ is an undersatement of Collins’ position in the last few weeks before the Truce, when the British were straining every nerve to smash the Volunteers. it is impressive that under such circumstances, he still had time or a note to Dulcibella Barton, who was ood friend and supporter but of no immediate relevance to his problems of day-to-day survival.
Robert Barton was released from Portsmouth Jail a few weeks later, and took part in the negotiation of the Truce. (1)More details ›
A Taste of Honey
Collins (Michael) An interesting short A.L.S. to ‘A chara dhom’ (Dulcibella Barton), on plain paper, 16.9.21, thankin her for a gift of honey (presumably from Annamoe House). ‘I shall have the greatest pleasure in making a beast of myself on it tomorrow with two of my little burned out nieces – they come to town tomorrow for a few week.’
With a good signature, ‘Do chara go buan / Micheal O Colleain.’ His ‘two little burned out nieces’ were the daughters of his brother Johnny, who lived with his large family at the Collins homestead at Woodfield, Co. Cork. The house was burned on the orders of Col. Higinson, Co. of Cork City HQ of the British 6th Division, as a reprisal for a volunteer attack at Rosscarbery, some four miles away. Four other houses in the area were burned on the same night. In anotherletter, Collins wrote that ‘On arrival of the English forces the house was occupied by a maiden lady, a maid and eight little children (ages from twelve years downwards to a little child of less than twelve months).. quite a short time prior to the burnin the mother of the children had died.’
Johnny Collins was an elected member of Cork County Council, but was not active in the Volunteers. (1)More details ›
Collins (Michael) A good signed note, typescript with manuscript postscript, to ‘A Chara’ (Dulcibella Barton), thanking her for all her notes about Bob, hoping that he miht not be moved ‘as there are so many of our lads in Portland (Jail) now, but of course, it will hardly be possible for them to send him to any Jail were there are not plenty of our ellows at the present moment.’
Signed ‘Do chara, Micheal’ and with a postscript in his hand – ‘I see it’s gradually getting publicity – a letter from you to the papers might be good just now.’ (1)More details ›
(O’Connell, ‘Ginger’) An inteesting A.L.S. on Dail Eireann notepaper, stamped ‘Irish Delegation of Plenipotentiaries, Secretariat’, 2pp dated 1/11/21, notaddressed but probably to Dulcibella Barton. A somewhat elliptical letter, givin the impression that more is being said than meets the eye, mentioning China, a name, a letter – ‘the best plan would be to leave it for Mr. Mc Gilligan at 32 Lower Leeson St., and it will percolate through in due course’ – Crooksling, a car without brakes, a man who ‘wasn’t a bloody bit concerned,’ etc. ‘As regards news, I shall be able to hold forth later on but can’t at the moment. I don’t think there’s been any serious harm done, though. Personally, I think it will prove very useful for myself to have been ever here; I’ve got some rather useful ideas about developments. I’d have most likely never got going on..’
Signed, ‘Mise O’Connell.’
J.J. ‘Ginger’ O’Connell, a leading Volunteer and later a Free State eneral, was one of several men brought to London by Collins as his assistants. (1)More details ›
“Bloody Sunday” 1920
Ephmera: G.A.A. Ticket, Cumann na gcleas luith n Gaedhealach (G.A.A.) Great Challenge Match (Football) at Croke Park, on Sunday, November 21st, 1920, match at 2.45p.m., admission 1/-, code number 44127 (Printers), ptd. one-side only, approx. 7.5cms x 11cms, worn, with minor text lose.
* An extremely rare original admission ticket for a remarkable occasion and fateful day, in both Irish and G.A.A. history. (1)
* A memento of the historical retaliations against innocent and unarmed spectators as a result of Collins’ early morning raids on British Secret Agents in Dublin, wherein 14 Officers were excuted by his Squad.More details ›
“Collins Will Stop at Nothing”
Collins (Michael). A typescript Card, circa 5″ x 8″ (13cms x 20cms), bearing a Photograph of Collins circa 1919, headed ‘Michael Collins, Chief of I.R.A. & organizer of all ambushes and murders,’ giving his description (‘Age about 30 / Eyes dark & sharp / Mouth large & drooping / Nose thick / Ears long Build slim / Height 5’7″ or 8″). With Remarks: ‘Often wears the disguise of a Priest. / He sometimes wears a black moustache, which is false, and often changed for another colour. / He has been known to travel as a nun. / Collins, who will stop at nothing, is an expert shot.’
The origin of this item is unknown, but we believe it to be genuine. It was found by a previous owner folded into a copy of Beaslai’s biography of Collins. The photograph, apparently a rephotographed snapshot, is a good likeness. It is likely that the card was formerly in the possession of a British intelligence officer, possibly a member of the ‘Auxies’. It is particularly interesting in view of the often-expressed view that the British did not have a good photograph of Collins.
See John Mc Guiggan’s article in History Ireland, v. 19 No. 4, July / August 2011 (copy supplied), where he identifies the photo as part of a group shot taken of members of the First Dail, April 1919, and concludes that ‘in all probability’ the card is genuine and possibly unique, dating from circa 1920. (1)More details ›
Photograph: Collins (M.) A striking and atmospheric black and white Photograph of General Michael Collins, Sean Mc Eoin and Kevin O’Higgins, each in military attire and in pensive mode attending the funeral of Arthur Griffith, August 1922, inscribed on reverse with stamp o John J. Horgan P.P.S.I., approx. 6″ x 4″ (15cms x 10cms), in removable frame. Good and Scarce. (1)More details ›
“Let Us Think” Micheal Collins & The Treaty Debate
[Collins (M.)] An interesting Typescript, 3pp, carbon copy, unsigned, headed ‘Let Us Think’ and inscribed at top in a secretarial hand, ‘Publicity for Prinitng / 4 Mach 1922.’ arguin the case for workin within the Treaty as a way of achieving full Irish Freedom.
The arguments and language are similar to those used byMichael Collins in other similar speeches around this time, and this may be his work. ‘It will not do for Mr. De Valera to cry from a platfrom that Ireland must not have a British King as King of ireland. We are all determined that it shall not be so. if this is Mr. De Valera’s only reason for plunging the country into disunion, he has not served his country well.’
There are three paes, numbered in typescript 1, 2, and 3. A line or two of contents are missing, the address appearsto be substanitally complete. Scarce. (1)More details ›
(Collins, Michael) An old Photo Frame containing a ‘Lint and Cotton Wool used to wash Michael Collins,’ face when being prepared at St. Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin,’ for his State funeral:
according to a manuscript label within the old frame, which has now been housed within a modern conservation frame. An evocative and emotive item.
Provenance: Nurse Nessie Rogan, S.R.N. (State Registered Nurse, who prepared him for his lying in state). (1)More details ›
“Michael Collins and The New Ireland”
Beaslai (Gen. Piaras) An interesting file of letters concerning research for Beaslai’s biography of Michael Collins, mostly 1922-23, with a few later, includes an ALs on mourning paper from Collins’ sister Hannie, sending ‘a short account of his life in London’ (not present); another from his sister Kitty (Sheridan), responding to a questionnaire; a long letter from John Collins of Cork (apparently no relation); an interesting ALs from Bob Price, 1926, enclosing ‘some information about Mrs. Lindsay which I got from Leslie. I don’t know her source of information but it is reliable.’ (Mrs. Lindsay was the woman who gave information about the I.R.A. ambush near Dripsey (Co. Cork), and was subsequently arrested and held for a time by the I.R.A. (‘Leslie’ is probably Tom Barry’s wife, nee Price); a note on Colonial Office paper from E(dward) Marsh, making an appointment; a note form Partholan O’Conchubhair (Batt O’Connor, who later wrote his own Reminiscences about Michael Collins); a later enquiry from Desmond Greaves, 1964; a note from Shane Leslie, 1923, offering assistance; two letters from George Roberts of Maunsel & Roberts publishers, 1922, proposing to publish his book (in fact it was published by Phoenis in 1926); and a few unrelated items. As manuscripts,w.a.f.
* An important Archive relating to one of Ireland’s greatest leaders. (1)More details ›
Beaslai (Piaras) Michael Collins and the Making of a New Ireland, 2 vols. thick sm. 4to D. 1926. Second Edn., 2 forntis (1 loose) and 16 plts. orig. cloth. Clean copy. (2)More details ›
Republican Prison Hunger Strike, 1923
Republican interest: A collection of documents, includ, a manuscript Order of the Day to All Ranks, dated 20 October 1923, signed by Tom Hales C/C. Comp (the rest of the message not in his hand), instructing all men to go on hunger strike for unconditional release. ‘in sympathy with our comrades and leaders in Mountjoy, on whom it was sought to impose criminal status.’
With a second Order signed by Tom Hales, Oct. 16, 1923, (rest of message not in his hand), and a collection of other prison camp orders and messages, two signed in De Valera’s name but not in his hand, apparently all contemporary copies issued probably in the Curragh Camp.
We are unable to guarantee the authenticity of all of these documents, they do however appear to be contemporary, and Tom Hales’ signature on two of the documents is authentic in our opinion. As a m/ss collection, w.a.f.
* Tom Hales was a member of the anti-Treaty I.R.A. Executive, and was the Republican prisoners’ camp commandant in the Curragh. It was on his directions that an ambush for Michael Collins’ party was laid at Beal na Blath in August 1922.
An important collection. (1)More details ›
“Proud to Die for Ireland”
Thomas Whelan & Patrick Moran, executed 1921
A copy of the Manual of Catholic Piety, Duffy, Dublin, n.d., the leather cover stamped ‘Official Copy,’ stamped on f.e.p. ‘Prisoners’ Library, Mountjoy Prison,’ inscribed in ink on f.e.p. ‘Thomas Whelan / March 13th 1921 / Sentenced to Death / Mountjoy Prison / Dublin.’
A most poignant item. Thomas Whelan, from Co. Galway, and Patrick Moran, from Co. Roscommon, were both members of the Irish Volunteers. Patrick Moran fought in the Jacob’s Factory garrison during the Easter Rising and was imprisoned; later he became a Captain in the Dublin Brigade. Both men were arrested after ‘Bloody Sunday,’ 21 November 1920, when fourteen British intelligence officers were shot dead by members of Michael Collins’ squad.’ Whelan and Moran were separately charged with the murder of British officers in the course of this operation. Both were convicted and sentenced to death, although there was credible evidence that both were at Mass, miles away, at the time of the attacks. Patrick Moran was so convinced that his innocence would be recognised, that he declined an opportunity to escape from Mountjoy with another prisoner (who got away successfully).
The Manual is inscribed the two condemned men for the prison chaplain, Canon John Waters, who would have heard their confessions and administered Mass before the executions. Canon Waters was not known for his sympathy for Republicans, but presumably he was sufficiently impressed by their character and demeanor to ask for their signatures.
Patrick Moran, Patrick Whelan and their comrade Kevin Barry were among ten Republican prisoners hanged at Mountjoy in 1920 – 21, whose bodies were reinterred in Glasnevin Cemetery after a full State funeral in 2001. (1)More details ›
Prison Craft: An Aluminium Spoon, crudely carved with various motifs and inscriptions, the fornt valley with Celtic design and inscribed “Go Saoraidh Dia Eire,” the reverse “Maurice Crowe – G.I.C., 1923,” unusual and scarce. (1)
* Maurice Crowe was adjutant of the Third Tipperary Brigade and a close assoicate of Dan Breen. Imprisoned several times, he took part in a number of Hunger Stirkes. This Spoon may have beec carved during one of his strikes as a memento.More details ›
Medals: War of Independence, Kilkenny Brigade, a group of three Medals and certificat awarded to Edward Murphy of A Company of the Kikenny Brigade, to include (a) Cogadh na Saoirse Medal with blak andamber ribbon with Celtic clasp, together with mounted ribbon cutting, paper work and original box; (b) a specially commissioned Cogadh na Saoirse miniautre Medal and box; (c) and alos a “Seirbhis Naisiunta Medal” with bar and ribbon, together with “C.A.” (Corsai Aitiula Badges) (d) an official Certificate of Service for E. Murphy, signed by James Lalor and Timothy Hennessy, as a collection. Scarce. (5)More details ›
“Inghinidhe na hEireann”
Brooch: Inghinidhe na hEireann (Daughters of Ireland) An attractive Celtic design Brooch with naive scrolls and pierced motifs, with an over and under support bar, inscribed on blank top “Inghinidhe na hEireann,” the reverse with members name “Maire Ni Mheachair,” (Mary Meagher), with piercing support pin, and makers name Johnson Ltd., some wear, otherwise. Scarce. (1)More details ›
Irish Celtic Craft: A profusely decorated “Tara Brooch,” the circular pierced silver Badge with carvings and overlay in intericate Celtic design, with figures and scrolling the over and under crss bar with shaped base, with a blank reverse, stamped H. & H. (Hopkins & Hopkins) solid silver, dated 1913, Dublin. An attractive example. (1)More details ›
Pierrepoint (Thomas, executioner) An interesting A.L.S. dated 31 December 1923, from his home address near Bradford, Yorkshire, acknowledging receipt of a cheque for £25-3-0′ being remunerations and expences in connection with the execution of Peter Hines at Mountjoy 15 December 1923, £10-0-0 for my fees and £6-0-0 expences and also £3-0-0 for assistants fees and £6-0-0 expences,’ with a good signature partly over a revenue stamp. Single sheet, pierced for filing, top corner torn without loss.
A macabre item. The Free State did not employ an executioner for civil cases, and the British hangman, Pierrepoint, was employed when necessary on a freelance bases.
It is interesting that the word ‘expences’ (recte ‘expenses’) is mis-spelled three times in this document. (1)More details ›
Pierrepoint (Thomas, Executioner) An interesting A.L.S. with stamp of ‘Aireacht Airgid,’ (Department of Finance), dated 11th August 1925, from his home address near Bradford, Yorkshire, submitting his claim for fees and expenses ‘in connection with the executions of Michael Talbot and Mrs. Annie Walsh at Mountjoy Prison Dublin, on the 5th August 1925,’ on the scale allowed by the Minister of Finance.
Pierrepoint’s fee for the two executions was £15, a reduction of £5 compared to his fee for a single job (£10). It is interesting that between 1923 and 1925, somebody evidently pointed out to him the correct spelling of ‘expenses.’ (See previous item).
Michael Talbot was Annie Walsh’s nephew; the two were sentenced and executed for the murder of Mrs. Walsh’s husband in what was described as a ‘crime of passion’. It is the only occasion in Free State history when two civil executions took place on the same day., and probably the only instance of the execution of a woman (in other cases the sentence was commuted to life imprisonment on the advice of the Government). An unique item. (1)More details ›