A PAIR of slippers belonging to Michael Collins have sent Irish social media into something of a mild frenzy.
They were 'discovered' earlier this week, during a National Museum of Ireland 'Zoom talk' with a number of history students.
Brenda Malone, the curator of military history at the museum, brought the artefacts out while on the call, and students and faculty alike were amazed to find out that they belonged to Collins himself.
A striking pair of cobalt blue slippers, each proudly emblazoned with the head of a wolf, seems fitting for the Irish revolutionary leader, who inspired and lead Ireland's struggle for eventual independence before his assassination in 1922.
Dr Gillian O'Brien, a history lecturer at the University of Liverpool, shared a photo of the slippers online, and the post quickly went viral.
Thanks to @BrenMalone who spoke to @LJMUHistoryMA students this morning - live from the stores of the National Museum. And as an extra treat we got to see my favourite objects - Michael Collins’ wolf slippers. #museum #irishhistory #publichistory #artefacts pic.twitter.com/oq0WnaMuAe
— Dr Gillian O'Brien (@gillianmobrien) February 23, 2021
Speaking to the Irish Independent, Dr O'Brien said she was struck by the sheer beauty of the shoes.
"As a design piece in themselves, they are 100 years old and they've kept their colour, the design of them is very modern ... it's almost like something designed on a computer," she said.
"They really stand out at you. I've been writing about Collins and he's really hard to get hold of as a person because people either love him or hate him. It's really hard to get a sense of him."
Dr O'Brien added that the slippers offer an insight into Collins' personality.
"Not every man would wear those, even today. They are quite a statement piece."
Irish social media began bubbling after a photo of the zany slippers appeared, with a number of people asking where they might be able to buy a similar pair.
History can be so much fun sometimes.