Michael Collins (Michéal Ó Coileáin) was an Irish revolutionary soldier and politician, who played a pivotal role in the struggle for Irish independence in the early twentieth century. He was the youngest son, born on 16 October 1890, to Michael John Collins and Mary Anne O’Brien of Woodfield, Clonakilty. He held the position of President of the Provisional Government and Commander-in-Chief of the National Army, when he was shot dead in Béal na Bláth on 22 August 1922. He was buried in Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin on 28 August 1922.
The Big Fellow’s Final Journey
On the morning of 22 August 1922, Michael left the Imperial Hotel Cork with his comrades at approximately 6.15am, headed to Macroom, via Ballincollig and Coachford, sourced a local guide to guide them to Bandon via the village of Kilmurray, before reaching the crossroads at Béal na Bláth. Having received directions locally at Béal na Bláth, they continued to Bandon, Clonakilty, Rosscarbery and Skibbereen. Having completed a series of West Cork meetings, they then headed back to the Imperial Hotel, via Sam’s Cross, to the fatal encounter at Béal ne Bláth.
The Tour also visits significant places of interest to the young Michael Collins, as he grew up in West Cork.