Restored Model T that Michael Collins drove on display in West Cork

A beautifully restored 100-year-old Model T car, once driven by lovers Kitty Kiernan and Michael Collins, goes on display in West Cork at the weekend.
Restored Model T that Michael Collins drove on display in West Cork

The Ford car, built in 1916 and discovered abandoned in a ditch 35 years ago, was immaculately restored by Granard, Co Longford, garage owner Eamon Creamer.

It had been owned by Kitty Kiernan’s brother Larry, who owned the Greville Arms Hotel hotel and registered the Model T as a hackney.

He regularly used it to collect Michael Collins from the train station in Ballywillan, Co Longford, when he arrived to visit his fianceé.

The legendary car is set to go on show on Sunday near Collins’ birthplace, a few miles from Clonakilty, alongside the famous “Moon Car” or Silver Ghost Rolls Royce in which General Collins had been shot at Béal na mBláth in 1922. There will also be a selection of other vehicles of the era, including Model T’s and Rolls Royces.

The exhibition will be held at Sam’s Cross as part of a popular annual charity walk which begins at 6pm and in which more than 150 people are expected to participate.

“We are very fortunate to have this wonderful vehicle to mark the occasion of our centenary walk,” said Finbarr O’Donovan, chairman of the Michael Collins Sam’s Cross Commemorative Committee. “The car was completely refurbished for the 1916 centenary year.”

The committee is organising the four-mile walk from Sam’s Cross to Carrigaradhairc in aid of Co Action, a charity which supports those with intellectual disability and autism.

The walk, held annually for the past five years, takes place from Sam’s Cross following the well-known annual Beal na mBláth commemoration.

President Michael D Higgins will deliver Sunday’s oration at Béal na mBláth, the first president to do so while in office.

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