A grand nephew of Michael Collins has accused the National Museum of trying to 'hide the horror of the civil war' in removing the cap he was wearing when gunned down at Béal na Bláth from public display.
Robert Pierse, who heads a legal firm in Listowel said Michael Collins' cap should be immediately put back on display with his greatcoat which is exhibited at the museum.
The museum removed the cap which had been on display for decades for ethical reasons as it had visible signs of blood and 'organic' brain matter.
Audrey Whitty of the museum told the Irish Examiner: "The blood on the great coat is more subtle and not as graphic."
Blood and organic matter residue, are visible on the back of the cap at the point where the fatal bullet entered Collins's head.
Dr Whitty said the decision to remove the cap from public exhibition was taken when it was relocated from the museum in Kildare Street to the new exhibition located in Collins Barracks.
She said the decision was in line with modern museum ethics and was made out of consideration for the sensitivities of General Collins' descendants.
Mr Pierse said he was never contacted by the museum about the removal of the cap from the Collins exhibition and the family had no problem with having the cap remain as part of the exhibition.
"It should be on display to remind us of the horror of the civil war and what people can do to each other, brother against brother," he said.
"They talk about ethics; what is ethical in hiding the truth. The words 'ethics' and 'love' are the most abused words in the English language.
"The cap shows Michael Collins was shot in the back of the head and you can't hide the reality of the dreadful things that happened during the Civil War.
"Collins would never have thought that he would be shot by one of his own."
The cap is preserved at the museum which said it can be made available for private viewing if an advanced request is made.
Collins' greatcoat and cap were handed over to the National Museum by WT Cosgrave after the Civil War.