Five-pocket diaries kept by Michael Collins in the revolutionary period 1918-1922 are being made available by the National Archives for display in the Michael Collins Museum in Clonakilty, Co Cork, from the end of this month.
This is the first time the diaries, which contain organisational and military details rather than personal data, have gone on show in the Museum, according to the manager of the Centre, Jamie Murphy.
Mr. Murphy joined former Minister for Justice, Nora Owen, a grandniece of General Collins, at a function in Foxford, Co Mayo, at the weekend to mark the 100th anniversary of the presentation of a travel blanket to Collins by the Woollen Mills in July 1922 to mark his appointment as Commander in Chief of the newly established Irish Army.
The blanket was in Collin’s armoured car at the time of the ambush in Béal na Bláth and accompanied his remains to Shankiel Hospital in Cork where it was recovered by a caring nurse, Nora O’Donaghue.
The blanket is now in the care of the National Museum.
Replica blankets, coloured olive, gold and white, were presented at the Foxford event to both Mrs Owen and Colonel Caimhin Keogh, on behalf of the Defence Forces.
The proceedings included a presentation to Colonel Caimhin Keogh, on behalf of the Defence Forces Chief of Staff, Lt General Sean Clancy.
In her address, Mrs Owen spoke eloquently about her late granduncle stressing that not only was he a military and political figure but also had huge business acumen with a strong vision for the development of the nation, post-Treaty.
“He was CEO, chief executive of Ireland”, Mrs Owen stated.
Speaking to reporters, Jamie Murphy of the Collins Museum described the availability of the Collins diaries in the Museum from July 29 as a valuable addition to the huge amount of Collins memorabilia already on display there.
“The diaries are of huge historical importance and we are immensely grateful to the National Archives and the Collins family for making them available in this centenary year of Collins’s death”, Mr Murphy said.