The best quotes from and about Michael Collins
Michael Collins, the beloved revolutionary hero of Ireland who helped guide the Irish people during the War of Independence and the Anglo-Irish Treaty, was assassinated on August 22, 1922 in BÃ©al na BlÃ¡th in County Cork.
He was the most admired Irishman of his generation and he spoke some memorable words during his lifetime. Here are our ten best quotes from Michael Collins:
“He comes from a smart Cork family.”
-Based on a Dublin Castle file that Collins himself found.
âThere is no crime in detecting and destroying in times of war the spy and the informant. They destroyed without trial. I paid them back in their own room.
-Collins commenting on Bloody Sunday, when his men shot dead British spies in Dublin.
âOf Pearse and Connolly, I admire the latter the most. Connolly was a realist, Pearse the opposite. I would have followed Connolly to hell if such action had been necessary. But honestly, I doubt I would have followed Pearse … ”
-On the 1916 Easter Rising.
âLloyd Georgeâ¦ I find it particularly odious. He’s all comrade, all cunning and cunning – all arms around one shoulder … not so long ago, he would have happily had me at the end of the rope.
-On Lloyd George, then British Prime Minister.
“Give us the future..we have had enough of your past..give us our country to live in – to grow..to love.”
-During treaty negotiations.
âFor me, the task is detestable. I go into the mind of the soldier who acts against his better judgment on the orders of his superior.
-By being sent to Downing Street for negotiations.
“Think about what I have for Irelandâ¦ Something she’s wanted for the past 700 years, will anyone be happy with this business, right?” I’m telling you, early this morning I signed my death warrant.
-After signing the treaty.
âIn my opinion, this gives us the freedom, not the ultimate freedom that all nations desireâ¦ but the freedom to achieve it. “
– His point of view on the treaty.
“Yerra, they’ll never shoot me in my own country.”
-Just before leaving to face his fate in Beal Na mBlath.
“He was a sincere and fearless Irish patriot.”
-Winston Churchill on the man he once considered a relentless enemy.
Quotes from “The Little Green Book of Irish Wisdom” edited by Dermot McEvoy, Skyhorse Publishing.
* Originally published July 2014, updated August 2021.
Central Irish history
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