The Michael Collins 22 Society plans to contact Ireland’s national broadcaster (RTE) and the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI) to ask why they are broadcasting an advertisement for bread featuring footage of the founder of the IRA, Michael Collins.
The society told the Evening Herald that they are uncomfortable with this footage being used in the Johnston Mooney and O'Brien advertisement.
President of the society Noel Coonan said, “We are concerned when people just jump on board for benefit other than historical, other than reflecting the true life history of Michael Collins," he said.
Coonan, a North Tipperary Fine Gael politician, continued, “It appears that they are building on the popularity of others to achieve commercial gain.
"And we would like to know what contribution, if any, they are making to any of the people or any organization in the ad."
The Michael Collins 22 Society was founded to perpetuate the name of the Irish leader.
Collins’ grand-niece, Nora Owen, is one of the society’s patrons. Among the objectives of the group is “for the erection by the State of his statue in the courtyard of Leinster house by 2022 (the centenary of his death)”.
Coonan said, “We were founded originally because the name Michael Collins was airbrushed from our of history…In the 60s, 70s and 80s, he was rarely mentioned in history books so we want to [promote the] real practical knowledge of Michael Collins.”
The advertisement in question was released last Friday (see video below). It opens with images of Collins before using historical footage of Ireland to celebrate the bakery’s long existence on the island.
The voiceover says, “Great tasting bread over 175 years. There's history in the baking.”
Here’s the Johnson Mooney and O’Brien advertisement: