The Twelve Apostles of Michael Collins

By | April 24, 2019

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Dublin ablaze during the riots of the Irish War of Independence aka Anglo-Irish War, 1920. From Story of Twenty Five Years, published 1935. Source: (Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images)

The years after World War I marked a bloody time for the history of Ireland. After winning a landslide election to Parliament in December 1918, the Sinn Féin party chose not to sit in Westminster. Rather, it established its own Irish Parliament and declared itself independent from the United Kingdom on January 21, 1919.

What followed was the Irish War of Independence also called the Anglo-Irish War or the Black and Tan War. It was a guerilla conflict fought in the streets. It was highly personal – and highly violent.

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Irish politician and revolutionary, Michael Collins (1890-1922) (Part of the Independent Newspapers Ireland/NLI collection.). Source: (Independent News And Media/Getty Images)

One of the Irish leaders was Michael Collins, a politician who was also the Director of Intelligence for the Irish Republican Army (IRA) in September 1919. Collins had witnessed the suppression of Irish nationalists during the 1916 Easter Rising and was determined not to wage open war with the British Army.

Collins was indeed a wanted man and hid in Dublin. The British government offered £10,000 for Collins, dead or alive. But tempting as the reward was, none would take it, and those that were tempted found themselves dead at the hands of the IRA with a calling card that read: “Convicted Spy Executed by Order of the IRA,"