The diaries of Irish revolutionary Michael Collins are set to go on display for the first time after his family loaned them to the National Archive.
Diaries belonging to Michael Collins are due to go on display to the public for the first time. Until now, only two diaries have been available for the public to view, with only two pages visible.
Now, thanks to a loan from Collins’ family to the National Archive, five diaries will be made available to the public.
The diaries, which cover the period from when he organised the Dáil loan, will be made available to the public to view in digital form.
Fascinating viewing ‒ insights into the life and mind of Michael Collins
National Archives Director Orlaith McBride spoke to RTÉ’s Morning Ireland about the diaries of Michael Collins that will be on display for the first time.
She said that the diaries have some standout writings about various major events in Irish history. However, she also explained that there are some omissions.
She explained, “The diaries would make little mention of some of the momentous events that we would expect to see.
“The diary that he kept while in London during the treaty negotiations, there is nothing between the signing of the treaty on 6 December and 10 December, when they would have come home.
“And at that extraordinary Cabinet meeting, so some of those extraordinary events go unmarked.”
Diaries of Michael Collins to go on display for first time ‒ from the significant to the mundane
McBride explained that some of the entries from the five new diaries on display cover seemingly insignificant and mundane events.
Entries chart everything from notes on appointments to addresses, donations to things to do, and more. So, they will provide more insight into the day-to-day life and goings on of the Irish figure.
She said, “People would be surprised in that they’re not going to read Michael Collins’ innermost thoughts or contemplations.”
An important figure from Irish history ‒ a long-lasting legacy
Michael Collins is one of the most prominent figures in recent Irish history. A central leader in the Irish struggle for independence in the early 20th century, Collins was Chairman of the Provisional Government of the Irish Free State.
He fought in the Easter Rising of 1916. Later, he acted as commander-in-chief of the National Army from July 1922. He held this position until his death in August of the same year.
The diaries of Michael Collins will go on display for the first time this September. They will no doubt prove popular among those who are interested in learning more about Irish history.