The historic hotel where Michael Collins spent his last night alive will host his family for special commemorative events on the weekend marking the centenary of his death.
The Imperial Hotel in Cork City has detailed its plans, which include the unveiling of a new Collins portrait and the renovation of room 115, where Collins spent his final nights alive, into a suite in his honour.
A stay in the opulent Michael Collins Suite will set you back a cool €450, bed and breakfast, for double occupancy, once it is available for booking.
The revolutionary leader was a regular guest at the Imperial Hotel on the South Mall.
He spent his last two nights alive in room 115, leaving the hotel at 6.15am on Tuesday, August 22, 1922, via Pembroke Street where the hotel’s main entrance was at that time, and travelling with Emmet Dalton in a Leyland touring car, accompanied by a small military convoy, towards West Cork.
They were ambushed at Béal na Bláth at about 7.30pm and Collins was shot dead. He was just 31.
Imperial Hotel owner Allen Flynn said he and his family are very proud of the hotel’s historic connection to Collins.
“In its 206-year history the hotel has welcomed famous and historic figures, but the Michael Collins connection is especially strong,” he said.
“It is a deep honour for us to pay tribute to Collins with a newly commissioned portrait and by turning the room where he stayed into the majestic Michael Collins Suite, which we hope will be met with his family’s approval and be a place for those who have an enduring regard for his place in history to stay in the future.”
The ‘Michael Collins Suite’ has been styled with green hues in the soft furnishings. It has a mahogany four-poster bed and furniture dating from the period, with a bust of Collins on the writing desk.
It will be left vacant on August 22 as a mark of respect.
About 30 of Collins’s relatives will have spent the previous night as guests of the hotel, where they will attend the screening of two documentaries on Collins.
They will enjoy a private family breakfast in the hotel the following morning, after which Collins’ grandniece Fidelma Collins and grandnephew Aidan O’Sullivan will unveil the Collins portrait in the hotel lobby by artist Mick O’ Dea from Ennis, before the family departs to follow the exact route Collins took to West Cork.
That evening, Pól Ó Murchú, a grandnephew of Collins, will deliver a talk in the hotel focusing on Collins the man rather than Collins the politician.