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How Signifant Was the Contribution of Michael Collins to the Successes of Irish Republicanism in the Period 1916

  • Date Submitted: 05/06/2014 09:09 AM
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How significant was the contribution of Michael Collins to the successes of Irish Republicanism in the period 1916-22?
During the time period of 1916 to 1922, there were many factors that contributed towards the success of Irish Republicanism, and also slowed down the progress towards the eventual achievement of the Irish free-state. Other than Michael Collins, it could also be agreed upon, that both Eamon De Valera and Sinn Fein leader Arthur Griffith affected the progression towards the success of Irish Republicanism. Other factors that could be taken into account are the Anglo-Irish War and the Anglo-Irish Treaty.
Most Irish nationalists who desired an Irish Republic needed a figure that was patriotic and had a good leadership attitude in order to fulfil that want for a republic. Many Irish believed Collins to be irreplaceable and unique in comparison to other Irish politicians due to his ruthlessness and cunning when it came to the Irish question. Ned Broy, a police clerk in 1918, stated that Collins was ‘the ideal man I had been dreaming about a couple of years, very intelligent, young and powerful’ and ‘the moment I saw Michael…… I knew he was the man…… obviously fell of energy and a mind as quick as lightning’. Broy’s memory of his first meeting with Collins shows that Collins was believed to be flawless and therefore his reputation would cause the Irish people to support and be loyal to Collins as all Irish would trust that Collins and his political skills would lead to an Irish Republic. His believed ‘flawless’ feature influenced many Irish to think Collins was a prophet or other mythical figure capable of performing a miracle as Broy shows in his one-sided view of how Collins filled him up with curiosity and how Collins was the ideal man that he dreamt about. The mass support that Collins gained from his personal skills as a politician is one factor that contributed to the success of achieving Irish Republicanism as shown by Broy and from John Charles...

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