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October 05 , 2008

Michael Collins Trilogy


I Signed my Death Warrant:To Michael Collins the signing of the Treaty between Ireland and Britain in 1921 was a 'stepping stone'.Eamon de Valera called it 'treason'.The controversy surrounding the Treaty and how it led to the Civil War of 1922-1923, is examined here. T. Ryle Dwyer not only takes an in-depth look at the characters and motivations of the two main Irish protaginaists but also gives many insights into the views and ideas of the other people involved on both sides if the Irish sea. Eamon de Valera sent Michael Collins to London in October 1921 to negotiate a treaty with the British Empire. The difficult negotiations took eight weeks before the Treaty was signed by Collins, Arthur Griffith and the other delegates in December 1921.To Collins, the Treaty was simply the start of a process that, in his eyes, would lead to full independence for what was now the Irish Free State, but there were many in the south who believed that Collins had betrayed the republican movement.Just hours after signing the Treaty Collins' wrote 'Will anyone be satisfied at the bargain? Will anyone? I tell you this early morning I signed my death warrant…' Eighty-five years on from the historic signing of the Treaty, I Signed My Death Warrant is a compelling study of the controversy surrounding the infamous negotiations and the motivations of the two main Irish protagonists, de Valera and Collins. Michael Collins The Man Who Won the War: In this completely revised and updated book, T. Ryle Dwyer, offers a fresh perspective on Collins' activities. With new information about his role in organising the IRB in London in his youth right through to his death in 1922, Dwyer's analysis supports the case for Collins as the chief architect of the Irish victory over the British Empire. Michael Collins co-ordinated the sweeping Sinn Féin election victory of 1918 and put structure on the organisation of the IRA. He was the prototype of the urban terrorist and the architect of the war against the Black and Tans. While many have questioned whether Collins ever fired a shot at an enemy of Ireland, he did order the deaths of people standing in his way, and he even advocated kidnapping a US President. Michael Collins and the Civil War: On 14 April 1922 a group of 200 anti-Treaty IRA men occupied the Four Courts in Dublin in defiance of the Provisional Government. Michael Collins, who wanted to avoid civil war at all costs, did not attack them until June 1922, when British pressure forced his hand. This led to the Irish Civil War as fighting broke out in Dublin between the anti-Treaty IRA and the Provisional Government's troops. Under Collins' supervision, the Free State rapidly took control of the capital. In 'Michael Collins and the Civil War', Ryle Dwyer sheds new light on Collins' role in the Civil War, showing how in the weeks and months leading to the campaign he secretly persisted with guerrilla tactics in border areas. This involved not only assassination but also kidnapping and hostage taking. In confronting those tactics on behalf of the British, for instance, Winston Churchill engaged in similar behaviour, including killing and hostage-taking. But until now much of this has conveniently been swept under the carpet of history.

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