PICS: This is the original mass card from Michael Collins’ funeral in 1922
Nearly 100 years on, it’s held up remarkably well.
The actions and deeds of the men and women who led Ireland’s fight for independence were very much on the minds during the 1916 commemorations of late.
Though he wasn’t one of the leaders of the Easter Rising, Michael Collins was very much involved in it.
Later, through his involvement with the IRA, the first Dáil and as a member of the delegation that negotiated the Anglo-Irish Treaty, which led to the establishment of the Irish Free State, he was one of the key figures in Ireland eventually securing independence from Great Britain.
Collins, sadly, was assassinated in Cork during the Civil War in August 1922 and was eventually laid to rest in Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin, where a remembrance wall in memory of those who died during the 1916 Rising was unveiled at the weekend.
Collins’ funeral was attended by as many as 500,000 people at the time and JOE recently acquired photos of the original funeral card from the funerals of one of the most important figures in Irish history.
A picture of the card was originally tweeted to Father Ted creator Graham Linehan by Eamon McGuill recently and Eamon and his brother Declan told us a little more about their link to Collins when in touch with JOE earlier this week.
“We are related to Michael Collins through our great-Grandmother, Margaret Collins-O’Driscoll, who was his sister. Our Grandfather, Joseph McGuill, of Bridge Street, Dundalk, was married to her daughter (and Michael Collins’ niece) Mary Collins-O’Driscoll,” Declan McGuill told JOE.
The back of the card...
“Their son – and the only child surviving to adulthood – was our Dad, Sean McGuill (also of Dundalk). Michael Collins is, therefore, our great uncle."
Declan also attached the family tree that you can see below…
“My mother informs me that the memorial card we have would really only have been given to family (and perhaps extended family) members so it obviously holds a very special place in our family’s archives,” Declan added.
Declan also told us that he and several other family members have planned a visit to Frongoch in North Wales next month, where his Grandfather, Joseph McGuill, and Michael Collins were interned at the same time. They also hope to meet up with a group coming over from Ireland to visit.
“I am very much looking forward to this opportunity to show my respect for these extraordinarily brave and committed people,” Declan said.
Declan also plans to make it over to Ireland, where his older brothers Joe and Miceal live, for the commemoration of Collins’ death at Glasnevin cemetery on August 22.