The birthplace of Collins should have a proper interpretive centre

I write to thank you on behalf of my three friends (history buffs) and myself from the United States who have been on holidays this past week in this wonderful part of Ireland called Cork City and county.

The birthplace of Collins should have a proper interpretive centre

Your city is remarkable, it is not a large city by any means but what an amount of history it contains with that English Market and the Coal Quay, the churches, cathedrals and museums.

On a guided tour, we learned that the Vikings actually set up the original city of Cork but I am wondering if I got that wrong since there is nothing to back up that claim in the literature I picked up.

We travelled down to Kinsale, no place where I have been (and believe me, I have been to a lot of places) can encompass the tranquility and timelessness of such a place.

Through those narrow streets, I walked with helmeted and mail-coated Spaniards and brawny Irishmen and serene women in hooded cloaks. West Cork was wonderful even if the intermittent showers of rain threatened to engulf us at times.

We had great difficulty in finding the actual birthplace of Michael Collins, some signposts along the way pointed us to a heritage centre at the city end of Clonakilty town.

We called there and saw an elaborate scene depicting war and rebellion with Collins as the centrepiece but it was removed from the exact place where he was born.

Yesterday, we were at Beal na mBlath, where he was killed and we actually met officials of the Irish Government.

We plan to return to this wonderful part of Ireland in two years time and will retrace our footsteps. Any hope of a proper and fitting interpretive centre at Collins birthplace at Woodfield?

Surely some local organisation, if not the local county borough itself, should seriously consider putting a suitable memorial to this great leader at his birthplace.

A plaque on a stone pillar is fine, but hardly a fitting tribute in the birthplace of a man who’s very achievements, in Ireland’s long history, defies description.

Thanks again for a most memorable holiday and we will be back, and in greater numbers, in the near future.

Maria Shelton

Jury’s Hotel

Cork

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