Michael Collins (b. 1925)
10.0020.00 Select options

Michael Collins (b. 1925)


Want unlimited access to the Irish Life and Lore Oral History Archive? Subscribe by purchasing Gold Subscription, Silver Subscription or Bronze Subscription!

Track 1: The Limerick background of the Collins family in the 1660s is described, as is their relocation to West Cork and the childhood of Michael Collins. His education at Lisavaird school and the great influence brought to bear on him by his teacher, Mr. Lyons, and the local blacksmith, Jim Santry, are explored. His job in the British Civil Service from the age of 16 is also discussed. Track 2: The week of the Rising spent by Michael Collins in the GPO, his arrest, the period at the Rotunda and the march to the North Wall for transportation to Frongoch Camp in North Wales, are all described by the interviewee. He also relates that his mother, Nancy O’Brien, a cousin of Michael Collins, (their grandmothers were sisters), spoke to Collins during this march. Their conversation is detailed. Track 3: The fact that Michael Collins became head of Prisoners’ Aid is mentioned, and another conversation with Nancy O’Brien is detailed, in which Collins discusses his idea of taking on the British through guerrilla warfare. Track 4: The National Loan devised by Michael Collins, which was eventually to raise £287,000, is discussed, as is the inner circle surrounding him, and the Cairo Gang sent from Britain to combat them during the War of Independence. The interviewee recalls carrying the coffins of eight of Collins’s Squad in later years. Track 5: The interviewee recalls a meeting with Dan Breen, who told him that he reported back to Michael Collins following the ambush at Soloheadbeg, Co. Tipperary, on 21 January 1919. (This ambush is often described as the opening ambush of the War of Independence.) Track 6: The nineteen-month period spent in America by Éamon de Valera during the War of Independence, is discussed, as is his visit to London prior to the Treaty negotiations, during which he had a personal meeting with Lloyd George. The interviewee reflects on the Treaty negotiations in London, de Valera’s insistence that Collins be part of the Irish Delegation, and Collins’s reluctance to comply until Batt O’Connor, under orders from de Valera, persuaded him to become part of the Delegation.

Additional information


Disk, MP3

Audio series:

The 1916 Rising Oral History Collections


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

16.65 MB, 5.69 MB, 8.76 MB, 5.87 MB, 10.34 MB, 7.09 MB

Number of files:


Product ID:



Collins, Michael (Interviewee’s uncle) (recording courtesy of the
Collins Powell family)

Recorded by: