Michael Collins Dublin walking tour through key locations in the Big Fella’s life
Michael Collins’s memory is honored in a new tour of his old Dublin haunts
Author Dermot McEvoy shows how Michael Collins is gone but not forgotten in a tour around Dublin which includes locations central to the story of one of Ireland’s most important leaders.
An inspiration to his men and the people of Ireland, Collins was the most wanted man in Ireland yet still managed to walk and cycle around Dublin with a 10,000 pound bounty (almost $37,000) on his head. He was Ireland’s first minister for finance, became Director of Intelligence in the Irish Republican Army and negotiated the treaty which freed what is now the Republic of Ireland from 700 years of British rule.
Assassinated at Béal na mBláth, County Cork, on August 22, 1922 at the age of 31, Collins’s body was buried in Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin but his spirit is still very much a presence in his native County and the capital.
Dermot McEvoy claims that there are two reasons why the revolutionary and politician continues to exert such a grasp on Dublin and its inhabitants, the first being that, “Unlike almost every other Irish revolutionary, he was successful” and the second, “that he was one of their own, a “Jackeen” by adoption, a Cork man who knew every back alley and pub in “durty ould Dublin,” as the locals often call it. In their time of European Union austerity, the Irish see an icon — albeit a dead one — they can still believe in.”
NO. 3 ANDREW STREET
In honor of the “Big Fella”, McEvoy takes us on a walking tour of Collins’s regular haunts, beginning with no.3 St Andrew Street which was the location of one of Collins’s main finance offices. After going over the books for the National Loan, Collins would cross the street to the Old Stand pub where he would hold informal meetings of the outlawed Irish Republican Brotherhood.
STAG’S HEAD PUB
Leaving the Old Stand, McEvoy leads the way to the Stag’s Head, one of the most beautiful Victorian pubs in Dublin and a favorite of Collins’s where, after a hard day of creating mayhem for the British, he would come and enjoy a whiskey from “Mick’s Barrel,” which they kept especially for him.
NO. 3 CROW STREET
A short distance from the Stag’s Head is no.3 Crow Street where Collins kept his intelligence office, disguised as John F. Fowler, printer and binder, and plotted the downfall of the British Secret Service, though he rarely visited it because of security issues.
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