Michael Collins and Vladimir Lenin met in 1915 , something never previously reported. Author Joe Good explained how in his wonderful memoir “Enchanted by Dreams.”
Collins, as Ireland's first Minister for Finance, had an insatiable thirst for economic knowledge while he lived in London between 1906 and 1915. Joe Good was a London Irishman who moved in the same circles as Collins. In his memoir, Good remembers calling the young Collins’s bluff about economics:
“‘What the hell do you know about economics?’ He almost jumped into the air. This was pretty chancey—I had read nothing then on the subject myself and was a deal younger than Mick. I joked that some famous economist had spoken to me. I did not say it was a lecture Lenin had given in London. At least I knew that Lenin could be described as an economist, but that was all I knew on the topic at that time.
To my surprise Mick had also been to that same lecture. The Clonakilty lad had certainly got around.”
Good’s version of Collins going to a Lenin lecture is the only instance where this nugget of Irish revolutionary history has been stated—and has never, as far as I know, been picked up by any of Collins’s other biographers.
Imagine that, Collins and Lenin—two of the greatest revolutionaries of the 20th century—in the same room together in 1915!
Dermot McEvoy is the author of a new novel “The 13th Apostle” -- available here.