Michael Collins’ diaries donated to Irish state and its people

Ireland: The valuable contents of the diaries of Michael Collins, the Irish revolutionary leader have been handed over “to the Irish people” ahead of the centenary of his demise.

Michael Collins earned his historic fame during the Irish War of Independence and ended up becoming one of the most influential revolutionary figures in the founding of the Irish Free State. He ruled briefly  both the leader of the new state and also commander-in-chief of its army until his assassination in 1922.

His diaries have been handed over to the Irish National Archives by will of his family. The diaries will remain at the archives on “long-term loan” before the original books are returned to Collins’ native County Cork next August at the occasion of the centenary of his death.

Members of the Collins family gave the diaries to the Taoiseach Micheál Martin and other minsters in County Cork on Monday.

The five diaries will now undergo conservation and preservation treatment and their contents will be digitised to enable public access, according to a government statement.

The diaries record important details of Collins’ meetings and appointments during the most significant events of his life, the historic War of Independence, the Anglo-Irish Treaty negotiations and the outbreak of the Irish Civil War.

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