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How Signifant Was The Contribution Of Michael Collins To The Successes Of Irish Republicanism In The Period 1916

2010 words - 9 pages

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 ...view middle of the document...

Byrnes reported that he was convinced that Collins was the Chief Director of all active movement amongst the Sinn Feiners and how Collins has also taken the place of De Valera. This source shows that not only Broy, an Irishman, but also Byrnes, a British agent, believes that Collins is the most significant person towards the attempt to achieve and Irish republic. Collins’ political power was the major contributor towards creating the Irish mass support which helped to build up the reputation that made it seem like he was the way forward. Many of the Irish linked Collins to O’Connell. If O’Connell achieved emancipation with mass support, Collins could also achieve a great event in Irish history with mass support. Although the role of Collins itself was not a contributor towards the successes of Irish Republicanism, the role of Collins and his actions indirectly caused the more significant events that caused the ultimate success of Irish republicanism, which would have been harder to achieve without the support formed by Collins’ political skills.
The success of Irish Republicanism was also achieved due to the contribution of other key nationalists including Sinn Fein leader Arthur Griffith. The Sinn Fein party itself had little influence before that war until after the 1916 Easter Rising due to the harsh measures imposed by the British causing the rebels to seem like heroes. However the significance of Arthur Griffith in Sinn Fein towards the ultimate success of Irish Republicanism was shown in the spring of 1917, when Michael Lennon, a friend of Griffith, described the conversation between Michael Collins and Griffith. Perhaps the most important phrase in Lennon’s description of the incident was when he paraphrased Collins and quoted, ‘If you don’t fight the election on the republican ticket, you will alienate all the young men’. This quote from Collins directed at Griffiths shows that perhaps Griffiths put the by-election first instead of the main goal of achieving Irish Republicanism. This argument is also further supported when Collins states that the Roscommon by-election prior to the upcoming Longford election had been fought under the republican flag and that the Longford election should be the same. This could show that Griffith may have doubted the idea of speaking publicly about the attempt towards bringing about an Irish Republic. Lennon has also seemed to make Collins, a figure that he has never seen before, stand out among his own friend, Griffith in the Sinn Fein headquarters. Lennon’s description also seems to support the views of both Ned Broy and Byrnes, that Collins was the man to lead Ireland to its success as an independent country from Britain. This is shown from Lennon’s description of Collins which is similar to Broy’s description of Collins as Lennon describes Collins as ‘a man of splendid physique’ in comparison to Rory O’Conner, who followed Collins into the Sinn Fein headquarters stating that O’Conner was a ‘frail...

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