Rare footage of Michael Collins in uniform has been revealed.

The British Pathe News film, filmed in 1922 and released in 2014, also shows General Richard Mulcahy, who became Commander-in-Chief of the Irish Army after Michael Collins’s death.

Collins was a key figure in the Irish Republican movement and became a prominent member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood and later, the Irish Republican Army (IRA). He was a skilled organizer and strategist and played a crucial role in the guerrilla warfare tactics used against British forces during the Irish War of Independence (1919-1921).

This film was shot at Portobello Barracks in Dublin in 1922 during the Irish Civil War.

Shortly afterward Collins would be dead, gunned down at Beal Na Blath in his native Cork in a Republican ambush on August 22, 1922. 

The film shows Collins, only 31 years old, at the height of his powers as Commander-in-Chief of the Free State Army and his trusted comrade Richard Mulcahy, who would live a long life dying in 1971.

Despite his relatively short life, Michael Collins is remembered as a key figure in the struggle for Irish independence and is often referred to as "The Big Fellow" due to his tall stature and significant impact on Irish history.

The full British Pathe description of the footage reads: "'GENERAL MICHAEL COLLINS - First and exclusive portrait in uniform.'

"Some good M/S's of Michael Collins in full uniform. Also various shots of another senior official in uniform. L/S's of Michael Collins with buildings in the background he smiles.

"Amendment February 2012: A visitor to the website has provided some more information. General Richard Mulcahy, 2IC to General Michael Collins, features."

* Originally published in 2014. Updated in August 2023.