Lord Mayor of Cork Hosts Civic Reception In Cork Public Museum In Fitzgerald’s Park
The Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. Deirdre Forde hosted a civic reception in the Cork Public Museum in Fitzgerald’s Park this morning.
It was one of a wide range of events happening across the county this weekend to commemorate the centenary of the death of Michael Collins.
The ceremony was attended by members of the Collins family, City Councillors and Oireachtas members.
After the civic reception, the Lord Mayor of Cork also launched a new exhibition ‘By a Treaty Divided – The Civil War in Cork’, which includes items such as an an unfinished Michael Collins portrait by Leo Whelan, and about 300 letters, postcards, and telegrams – mainly between Kitty Kiernan and Michael Collins.
The exhibition, ‘By a Treaty Divided – The Civil War in Cork’ details the period between July 1921, when the Truce was declared, to the end of the Civil War, in May 1922.
It tells the story of what happened in Cork during this period, highlighting the divisions brought about by the Treaty. It contains objects and documents, as well as privately owned photographs and images never displayed in public before, to tell Cork’s story. Significant objects include the suit jacket and waistcoat worn by Sean Hales TD on the day he was shot dead in December 1922 and the Conlon Collection that detail the history of the Cumann na mBan during this period.
- The new exhibition also features:
An unfinished Michael Collins portrait by Leo Whelan, one of Ireland’s premier portrait artists of the 20th century, who painted leading figures across all spheres of contemporary life from politics to religion, academia to commerce. The painting included in the exhibition ‘By a Treaty Divided – The Civil War’ in Cork is influenced by the famous image of Collins at Portobello Barracks (Cathal Brugha Barracks) in July 1922. It remains unfinished.
- Letters between Kitty Kiernan and Michael Collins and also letters between Kitty Kiernan and Harry Boland. The collection contains about 300 letters, postcards, and telegrams. They are chiefly between Collins and Kiernan between mid-1921 up until his death in August 1922. This covered a significant period in the formation of the Irish Free State, as well as in Collins’ life. The letters allow us to see another side of Collins who shows a vulnerability and a longing, they both shared, to get married and lead a normal uneventful life. The exhibition also contains a few correspondences from Harry Boland to Kitty that hint at the relationship they once had, but it seems he bore no ill-will towards Collins or Kiernan, even sending a congratulations letter to Kitty on the news of her engagement to Collins.
- Letters from Collins as the Dáil Éireann Minister of Finance to Terence MacSwiney dating from 1919 to 1920, including one on 31 March 1920 congratulating him on his election as Lord Mayor of Cork. These are all signed ‘Do Chara Go Buan’, ‘Your Friend Forever’.
- Memorabilia from Liam de Róiste’s personal archive including an invitation card inviting De Róiste to speak alongside Collins at a public meeting at Grand Parade, Cork, on 10 March 1922, in support of the Treaty.
- Group photograph from Diarmaid Fawsitt’s papers, 1921, with Collins seated beside Eamon De Valera and Harry Boland, each to become Collins’ opponents in the Treaty debates and in the Civil War.
- An account of the last 3 days of Michael Collins, apparently written by his comrade Emmett Dalton.
- The last known photograph of Collins taken by Agnes Hurley in Bandon, on 22 August 1922, the day of his death.
For more information about the exhibition visit: https://www.corkcity.ie/en/cork-public-museum/