A shilling – the only piece of money found in Michael Collins’ pockets when he died – is on display for the first time.

The historic piece of Irish military memorabilia is on display at the James Stephens Army Barracks in Kilkenny for the launch of the Kilkenny Musical Society’s show ‘Michael Collins - A Musical Drama.’

Invited guests to the military museum were stunned when Lt Larry Scallan, an army historian, told them that the coin in Collins’ pocket when he was shot in Beal Na Blath, Co Cork on August 22, 1922 was on display, the Irish Independent reports.

Collins’ sister gave the shilling to Diarmuid Murphy, a Free State soldier. It is currently owned by the mother of a serving soldier in the Kilkenny army barracks.

The inscription on the back of the coin in old Irish reads: "Michael Collins; 22. 8. '22; From his sister to Diarmuid Murphy; in beloved memory of him; The one piece of money he had when he was killed."

The coin has remained in the same family since 1922, but information on the current owners is being kept secret for security reasons.

Michael Collins - A Musical Drama’ will play at the Watergate Theatre in Kilkenny from April 6 to 12.

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