Ireland And Michael Collins Essay

1152 words - 5 pages

(justified) Chris O'KaneThere are many conditions under which Ireland was divided intotwo nations. Two main men were the main leaders of this split, Emonde Valera and Michael Collins. Sinn Fein also played a large role. Theirdiffering visions for an Ireland free of British rule was the rootmotivation for the split.Born in New York City in 1882, Emon de Valera was described asa 'tall, spectacled, schoolmasterly, of Jewish cast' as Tim Healy said.Edward Norman, the author of A History of Modern Ireland, added thatde Valera was an 'austere theoretician' (Norman, 265). Michael Collinswas born in 1890 at Clonakilty, Co. Cork. Edward Norman said hispersonality was to be to the contrary of de Valera's; he said Collins wasnot an intellectual and was a man of violent impulses. He took thatstatement further when he said the Collins would go as far to tumble hiscolleagues on the floor and bite their ears in playful attention. Now thatde Valera's and Collins' personalities have been established, we can nowanalyze the events and actual conditions under which Ireland was underthat led ultimately to her freedom.All across Ireland people were repulsed by the executions whichthey considered to be needlessly brutal. What they lacked was newleadership to focus the restless energy of the Irish into effective politicalaction, but it was not long in coming. At Christmas 1916 all rebelprisoners who had been interned without trial, those that the British hadconsidered insignificant, were released as a goodwill gesture to theUnited States which had been very angry by British conduct regardingthe rebels. This proved to be a costly mistake. Among those releasedwas a cadre of IRB men who had spent their time in prison educatingand organizing themselves into what came out to be a formidablepolitical and military force. The leader of these efforts in prison wasMichael Collins, who was still a little known Volunteer at the time.Despite martial law, Collins contacted the members of his secretorganization throughout Ireland and set in motion a clever plan to obtainpolitical power. Using Sinn Fein as cover, the IRB began to run itsmembers as candidates for parliament. Their successes throughout 1917against Redmond's Irish Parliamentary Party candidates shifted power toSinn Fein and caused a turmoil of public support for the republicanmovement throughout Catholic Ireland. After Collins release in June,1917,Eamon de Valera, the oldest of the surviving 1916 rebels, joinedCollins. De Valera was lucky for he had been spared by the Britishbecause of his American citizenship. De Valera was a hero to the Irishand he was elected as MP in July. In October he was elected presidentof both Sinn Fein and the Irish Volunteers. Sinn Fein became popularamongst the people.In September the death of Thomas Ashe, a released 1916 rebel andclose associate of Collins who had again been arrested for sedition, hadalso contributed to Sinn Fein's popularity was. Ashe went on a hungerstrike while in British...

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