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On the anniversary of his death, what exactly did Mick Collins stand for?

Michael Collins died 101 years ago, on August 22, 1922, after being shot dead by the anti-Treaty IRA at Béal na mBláth in west county Cork. The Civil War and the circumstances leading to his death have been the subject of much discussion and commemoration over the past two years.

What is less spoken about, despite the repetitive name checking of Collins and others by their putative political heirs, is the vision that Collins had for the state which he died in defence of, but which many claim he regarded merely as a pragmatic “stepping stone” to full national unity and independence.

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