Michael Collins' Birthday
Today (16th October 2009) is the 119th anniversary of the birth of Michael Collins. As we prepare to post a new range of topics I thought it might make sense to pause and appreciate Collins' attributes and to encourage those who have yet to read our articles about him to do so.
For those who know little to nothing about Collins, you should start with Chrissy Osborne's short life here. If you are looking for some more speculative pieces, John McGuirk's consideration of Collins' view of Europe is enlightening. If you seek a good book on an aspect of Collins' life, then you might be well served by the review of Michael Collins: The Man Who Won The War.
If you are seeking to read some of Collins' own words, then you could do worse than read Path To Freedom, Collins' own words written in support of the Treaty with Great Britain. The General Michael Collins site, hosted by the Collins 22 Society have a linked version of the book online here.
INLA and the Brighton Bombing
Yesterday (12 October 2009) was a historic occasion. The decision by the INLA to declare their war over and to renounced violence is long overdue but no less welcome for that. It was good too that it coincided with the visit of Hilary Clinton to Ireland (north & south), reaffirming US commitment to the peace process.
Another reason it is welcome is that it comes one day before the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Brighton bombing in 1984 when the IRA attempted to kill British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher.
Although that bombing didn't kill the Prime Minister, it did kill five others. The BBC has a number of remarkable features on the events including this photo-gallery with eyewitness and first hand accounts of the events of that night.
It is hard to imaging how much further along the road towards peace the conflict in Northern Ireland has come since those very dark days. Despite our dark and gloomy recession news them we have some things to be grateful for.