Was Michael Collins assassinated?

Michael Collins' Death

Here are opinions on the circumstances of Michael Collins' death:
  • Read Tom Barry's book Guerilla Days in Ireland. He was the leader of the west cork IRA and according to him Micheal Collins was killed by accident by a raiding party. They were shooting from 400-500 yards away and Collins was the only one hit during the attack. It seemed like an accident to me.
  • Michael Collins was shot under a conspiracy from one of his own men. This came from my great grandfather who was with Michael Collins the day he was shot. Does nobody else find it unusual that between two rallies of fighting men that he was the only one shot dead when half of the men there were actually trying to protect him?
  • I think that Micheal Collins was not ASSASSINATED. He was on his way back to Dublin from Cork, were he got ambushed, he ran over to help his friend and got shot in the head. That doesn't mean that he was actually assassinated!
  • Micheal Collins was not assassinated but it was a cowardly way that his fellow countrymen ambushed and killed him after all this great man did for IRELAND.
  • Micheal Collins was shot in the back of the head from 3 yards. His assassin's name was Emmett Dalton, who was Sir Henry Wilson's batman in WW1. Collins was murdered by the British because he ordered Wilson shot dead during the Truce. Also Collins was sending guns north to help Catholics in Belfast.
  • Yes, he was assassinated by his fellow countrymen who were employed to do so by Eamon de Valera he was on his way down through B�al Na Blath to talk with de Valera when he met a road blockage and men began to fire from the hill the man whom shot him Sonny Neill admitted to have killed Michael Collins on propose and he boasted to his friends that "I dropped one man" and if you want to find out more read "The day Michael Collins was shot" by Meda Ryan it explains all about how he was killed and tells about how Sonny O'neills friends and one man who was involved in the ambush tells about how Sonny shot him and how they were enlisted to do so!! Why could someone do that to such a great men a man whom saved our country from the British he is THE REAL HERO OF IRELAND!!!
  • Micheal Collins was assassinated by fellow Irishmen, because they disagreed with his views of setting up an Irish republic. Collins was a great man killed by internal rivalry.
  • I can't really tell you if Collins was assassinated, nobody can except those people who pulled the triggers, but my personal view on the death of Collins is de Valera's men were the ones who put the life of Ireland's best patriot to a early end,this man was destined only to be with us for a short time, but to achieve great things in his short life.
  • This is a very interesting topic, my father is currently researching my grandfather's cousin 'Marco' Quinn who was driving the Leyland 8 on that fateful day and was indeed Micheal Collins driver, his co driver was a man under the name of Currie. The reason why my father is so interested in Marco (which may fuel your debate) is that he was (we believe to have been) murdered in the 1940s under unusual circumstances. The research is in its early stage but it may fuel speculation about the conspiracy theory. One point worth noting is that Marco was a Tyrone man as was Jock McPeake's parents. Jock was the driver of the 'Slieve le Mon' and was arrested and held for a number of days accused of shooting Collins and received a severe beating).
  • Michael Collins death was the result of Winston Churchill's concern that he (the Mick) was becoming too powerful, too charismatic. Because Collins signed the treaty partitioning Ireland, it was thought that he was a British supporter, but on his return to Ireland, he proved otherwise. Churchill knew he had to get rid of Collins so it was through him and with the assistance those who supported partitioning, that Michael Collins met his fate. The planned meeting with de Velara only served the Brits needs because it cast suspicion on Dev. Churchill failed to realize that a dead Michael Collins was more valuable to the Irish Cause.
  • Arthur Griffith did not set up Michael Collins as Griffith himself was dead before Collins was killed. i would also encourage people to avoid Jordan's version of events and remember that the film Michael Collins was made for entertainment reasons and is not fully factual. De Valera did not order Collins' death as falsely portrayed in the film.
  • I believe Michael Collins was assassinated. Although we will probably never know the true identity of his assassin, there are a number of theories, including: 1. He was shot by one of his own men because he was becoming to powerful, he was already Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces and, following Arthur Griffiths Death, he became President of the Provisional Government. It may have been believed that political and military power was to much for one man and would only cause corruption. 2. He was killed by the British for the same reasons. 3. He was killed by assassins on de Valera's side following orders from de Valera himself. 4. He was killed by assassins on de Valera's side who acted independently without orders from de Valera.
  • It appears from my early research that Collins was killed by his own men. I have my own idea who pulled the trigger and believe that there is merit in having a postmortem and grounds for exhuming the body. I am in the very early stages of my research.I expect to spend the next two to five years on it and would welcome any information that any body has on it?
  • De Valera had nothing to do with his death, there was not any kind of severe hatred between the two. He was either shot by a stray bullet (a ricochet perhaps) during a firefight in which Collins stood and fought, or he was shot by a Hun from behind during the fight. Michael Collins was escorted by Pro-Treaty soldiers so naturally when they ran into anti-treaty soldiers a fight ensued. Collins stood and fought (that's the kind of guy he was) and after a long fight was shot (in one of the two ways mentioned. In the end it was very bad for Ireland, Collins supported the continued fighting in the North which his predecessors did not, and he certainly would not have accepted the border commissions decision. Micheal Collins was the only high level Pro-Treaty man who was anything more then a sellout.
  • Course he was assassinated but no way was it de Valera who ordered it. even if he had told the IRA to do it, they wouldn't have followed his orders anyway as de Valera had no control over the IRA.
  • Whether he got hit by a stray bullet or whether he was assassinated will always be up for debate. And everyone has their own answers and opinions as to why it is seen that way but nobody really knows. One of my grand uncle's who was part of his hit squad told my grandfather that Collins would never have been able to live with the peace anyway and my grandfather always said nothing could be truer of the man than that.
  • My Great Grandfather James Kenna was buried with Michael Collins in Dublin, I have just started to research his life to help an uncle. The one thing you must remember is that a civil war had broke out and brother had turned against brother as with any civil war. Anything could have happened. The truth is known somewhere.
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yes he was!!!! he was the most famous man in Ireland at the time his head was worth 10,000 pounds a lot of people wanted him dead because of the treaty!he made Ireland what it is today i am only doing junior cert history as i am 15 but i still feel he was assassinated as he was Ireland's hero-----"anti-Ireland" people didn't like it----so they didn't like him

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An uncle of mine, who attended his funeral, told me that everyone at the time believed that Collins had been shot at very close range by someone in his own convoy.

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Intrigued, I visited Beal na Blath and there discovered that the two sides in any ambush taking place at the site claimed, would have been firing at each other from such close range that both sides should have suffered very heavy casualties.

I find it VERY hard to believe the 'official' ambush-version of events. The whole business, from the claimed time of the ambush to the convoy re-appearing in Cork City seems vague for the events described. The elapsed time, from the late-evening ambush to the early-morning arrival in Cork, is blamed on trees having been felled to block roads. But the elapsed time is much too long, even for this.

Collins was very secretive but his purpose in going to Cork seems to have been to seek peace with the Cork IRA. He seems to have purposefully exposed his convoy on the morning and during the day of the ambush and then returned, allegedly to Cork, by the same circuitous route. Was this an, 'I'm here!' signal for the Cork IRA.

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Did he meet with the Cork IRA? Did he leave his escort behind in order to meet with them? Did they then have a row at the meeting and one of the Cork IRA shot him? Was his escort unwilling to say that they had let him go unarmed to his death, even though he may have ordered them to do so? Was the time between his death and their arrival in Cork taken up by their rehearsal of the story to be circulated?

The eventual statements are sometimes so contrived as to seem that there might have been some collusion with others so varied as to seem that those in the convoy did not actually see what happened.

A lot of conjecture surrounds Collins's death.What is sure is that he was NOT killed by one of his own men such as Emmet Dalton.Those stories were circulated subsequent to the ambush by Anti-Treatyites to deflect negative attention.The truth is that Sonny Neil killed him.Meda Ryan's book about the days leading up to Collins's death is excellently researched and there is no doubt that it was Sonny Neil.Neil admitted to 'downing one man' after the ambush unaware that it was Collins at the time.Michael Collins was the only person who was 'downed' in the Beal na mBlath ambush.Its that simple.All the rumours and conjecture are untrue.

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Michael Collins regular driver of Slieve na Mban was James McGowan who was down sick with a recurring bout of malaria which he contracted while serving in the British Army overseas (India, Palestine,Iraq). He went to Cork City hospital for treatment, thus missing out on the attack at Beal na Blath.

Later to escort Michael's coffin on the SS Classic back to Dublin.

James McGowan was recruited by Emmer Dalton for his military background and expertise with Rolls Royce engines.Most of Collins inner circle were ex-British army (Dalton, McPeak, McGowan).

James Joseph McGowan was born in Dublin, joined 5th Royal Lancers 27-05-1916, transferred to R.A.S.C. discharged 21-01-1920 in Dublin.

Enlisted into the Irish National Army 19-03-1922 as Captain over three armoured cars.Stationed in Cork City Armoured car Division.

Retired from Army on 11-07-1945 after 23 years with exemplary military conduct.

Employed in Tintown, Curragh as Rolls Royce fitter, died 19-03-1969 buried in Kildare town cemetery.