A Fighting Speech by Mr Michael Collins

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Details

Location

Dublin

Year

1922

Source

British Pathe

Format

35mm, film, intertitles

black and white

Length

49sec

Silent

silent

Courtesy

British Pathé

Rights Holder

British Pathé

It is illegal to download, copy, print or otherwise utilise in any other form this material, without written consent from the copyright holder.

Description

This film shows Collins making an impassioned speech in Dublin (possibly O´Connell Street). He is defending the Treaty in the first Irish Free State elections in June 1922. His pro-Treaty party got a majority for the Treaty but the civil war began at the end of June. He was killed at Beal na Blath in Co Cork on 22 August.

Notes

After extensive debate in the Dáil it was decided that a five man delegation, led by Arthur Griffith and including Michael Collins would be sent to engage in negotiations in London. Collins did not relish the prospect, commenting ‘to me the task is a loathsome one. If I go, I go in the spirit of a soldier who acts against his better judgement at the orders of a superior officer. Collins said that he wasn’t sure if the treaty delegation was ‘being instructed or confused’ during its discussions with Lloyd George, adding ‘the latter I would say’. In a personal letter to Kitty Kiernan on the matter of signing the Treaty, Michael Collins reveals an optimistic hope for the settlement. Writing on the morning of 6 December (the agreement had been reached in the middle of the night) he poignantly states ‘I don’t know how things will go now but with God’s help we have brought peace to this land of ours – a peace which will end this old strife of ours forever’. Collins was not so optimistic about his own future, realising he 'just signed his own death warrant'. Eight months later, Collins was shot in an ambush in Co. Cork.

Shot List

'Dublin. A Fighting Speech by Mr Michael Collins to huge crowd in shadow of old Irish Parliament, opens Free State Election Campaign. Pathe Gazette.' View looking down on podium and pan across dense crowd. Close up head and shoulders profile of Collins giving a speech.