Unforgettable Michael Collins

Something for the weekend. Michael Collins. A song in tribute to Michael Collins, the father of Irish independence, whose life and death symbolized the glory and tragedy of Ireland.

Collins was the most talented Irish statesman and soldier of the last century.  He was also a man of exceptional courage as he demonstrated when he signed the Anglo-Irish treaty, realizing that this was the best deal that could be gotten from the British.  “I have signed my own death warrant” was his prophetic utterance  when he signed the treaty.  Collins was killed in the subsequent utterly futile Irish civil war that erupted, dying at 31 on August 22, 1922, proving once again that the worst enemy of the Irish often tend to be the Irish.

In the negotiations with the British Michael Collins and Winston Churchill became acquainted and found, probably to their mutual surprise, that they respected each other.

Just before his death Collins sent this message, Tell Winston we could never have done it without him.”

In 1929 Churchill wrote of Collins, Successor to a sinister inheritance, reared among fierce conditions and moving through ferocious times, he supplied those qualities of action and personality without which the foundation of Irish nationhood would not have been re-established.”


Come listen all me true men to my simple rhyme

For it tells of a young man cut off in his prime

A soldier and a statesman who laid down the law, and,

To die by the roaside in lone Beal na Bla

When barely sixteen to England crossed o’er

For to work as a boy in a government store B

ut the Volunteers call he could not disobey

So he came back to Dublin to join in the fray


At Easter nineteen sixteen when

Pearse called them out

The men from the Dublin battalion roved out

And in the post office they nobley did show

How a handful of heros could outfight the foe.

To Stafford and jails transported they were

As prisoners of England they soon made a stir

Released before Christmas and home once again

He banded old comrades together to train

Dail Eireann assembled our rights to proclaim

Suppressed by the English you’d think it’s a shame

How Ireland’s best and bravest were harried and torn

From the Arms of their loved ones and children new born.

For years Mick eluded their soldiers and spies

For he was the master of clever disguise

With the Custom House blazing she found t’was no use

And soon Mother England had asked for a truce

Oh when will the young men a sad lesson spurn

That brother and brother they never should turn

Alas that a split in our ranks ‘ere we saw

Mick Collins stretched lifeless in lone Beal na Bla

Oh long will old Ireland be seeking in vain

Ere we find a new leader to match the man slain

A true son of Grainne his name long will shine

O gallant Mick Collins cut off in his prime.

Share With Friends
  • 6

Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.


  1. My family-the Spooners were driven out of their homes by the English .They were slightly better than Nazis.I’ll forgive but NEVER forget.Bloody Orangemen,as my Mother and her sisters used to say-they meant ALL English..

  2. [T]he worst enemy of the Irish often tend to be the Irish.
    –Donald R. McClarey

    Showing once again that if one wants something done right, one must do it oneself.

  3. Then let them leave Northern Ireland and resettle those Scots that they imported just like the USSR did with Crimea.

    The English are ALL complicit until an apology is proferred.They were imperialists just like the Nazis.Catholicism has NOTHING to do with it -look at Croation war crimes.

    According to the English historian Sir William Petty, before the war there was an estimated 1.5 million Gaelic Irish. After the war there was an estimated .5 million.

    We know that through the Irish slave trade Cromwell sold about 60,000 Irish into slavery in Barbados and Virginia, so the balance would have been either killed in battle or through the starvation and later diseases that set in because of the forced migration of the Irish into Connaught.

    Most modern authors consider this an early form of ethnic cleansing. To this day there are anti-Catholic laws on the books in the U.K. and there Cromwell is looked upon as a hero for betraying and murdering his Catholic King.

  4. “The English are ALL complicit until an apology is proferred.”

    Oh give it a break. There are virtually no English alive from the time when they controlled all of Ireland. An apology now would be empty and meaningless. The English, for all the misdeeds of some English in Ireland, were never Nazis, but your proposal to have the English remove Northern Irish, most of whom have families that have lived in Ireland since the seventeenth century, would be a Nazi like act. I have a deep love of history, but being consumed with hate because of it is a poor way to go through life and is completely antithetical to the Gospel.

Comments are closed.