Michael Collins Powell (b.1936)
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Michael Collins Powell (b.1936)


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Track 1: Michael Collins Powell describes his family background and discusses his father, Seán Collins Powell, who was Michael Collins’s nephew. Track 2: A discussion ensues on Michael Collins, his time in England before the 1916 Rising, joining the IRB and his part in the Rising. Details on IRA tactics during the War of Independence are given, and mention is made of the letters written by Michael Collins to his family at home in West Cork during the period 1916 to 1922. Track 3: Michael Collins Powell gives his views on the signing of the Treaty and his granduncle’s understanding of the British mind. The reasons why de Valera was not alerted to the signing of the Treaty are examined. His father, Seán Collins Powell’s belief that Michael Collins had not been properly written into history is discussed. Track 4: The ambush at Beal na Bláth in August 1922, during which Michael Collins was shot, is discussed. A query is raised about the reasons why the medical report following the shooting, compiled by Dr. Oliver St. John Gogarty, was never published. Track 5: The years of the Civil War are examined, including the executions at that time and the breakdown of law and order. A discussion follows on the fact that his father, Seán Collins Powell, served in the Irish Army under the command of his uncle, Michael Collins, during the Civil War. Michael Collins Powell talks about his own early childhood years at the Curragh, where his father was based. An anecdote is told about the taking by the RIC of young Seán Collins Powell’s bicycle when he was attempting to deliver a message in his capacity as a runner for the IRA. The lack of bitterness between the Collins and the de Valera families after the 1916-1923 period is discussed. The scant recognition given to Michael Collins in Cork during the 1966 Commemorations and the family’s subsequent feelings of disappointment are explored.

Additional information



Audio series:

The 1916 Rising Oral History Collections


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

6.02 MB, 13.67 MB, 6.10 MB, 7.24 MB, 7.42 MB

Number of files:


Product ID:



Collins, Michael (Interviewee’s granduncle)

Recorded by:

Maurice O’Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore