In a letter John O’Kane after signing the Treaty, Michael Collins wrote;
“When you have sweated, toiled, had mad dreams, hopeless nightmares, you find yourself in London’s streets, cold and dank in the night air. Think – what have I got for Ireland? Something which she has wanted these past 700 years.
Will anyone be satisfied with the bargain? Will anyone? I tell you this – early this morning I signed my own death warrant. I thought at the time how odd, how ridiculous – a bullet might just as well have done the job 5 years ago.”
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Collins commenting on Bloody Sunday when his men gunned down British spies in Dublin;
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“I have emphasised our desire for national unity above all things. I have stated our desire to win the North-East for Ireland. We mean to do our best in a peaceful way, and if we fail the fault will not be ours.
“The freedom we have secured may unquestionably be incomplete. But it is the nearest approach to an absolutely independent and unified Ireland which we can achieve amongst ourselves at the present moment. It certainly gives us the best foothold for final progress.
“Let us not waste our energies brooding over the more we might have got. Let us look upon what we have got.”
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During the treaty negotiations, in one of his letters, Michael Collins wrote;
Winston Churchill comments on Michael Collins.
On the last occasion the two men met, Churchill quotes Michael Collins;
“I shall not last long; my life is forfeit, but I shall do my best. After I am gone it will be easier for others.”
After the Treaty was signed Churchill said of Collins;
He was an Irish patriot true and fearless.
Winston Churchill on Collins the man he once considered an implacable enemy.
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All images copyright Ireland Calling
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