Diaries of Michael Collins to go on display for the first time

Diaries of Michael Collins to go on display for the first time

DIARIES BELONGING to Michael Collins have been made available to the public for the first time after his family loaned them to the National Archives.

Up until now, only two diaries had been on display and with only two pages visible. Now, as a result of the loan, five diaries will be made available to the public in digital form.

The diaries cover the period from when he organised the Dáil loan which finance the government, and National Archives Director Orlaith McBride said that there are some standouts in the diaries, but that there are omissions in many ways.

"The diaries would make little mention of some of the momentous events that we would expect to see," Ms McBride told RTÉ's Morning Ireland.

"The diary that he kept while in London during the treaty negotiations, there is nothing between the signing of the treaty on 6 December and 10 December, when they would have come home and at that extraordinary Cabinet meeting, so some of those extraordinary events go unmarked."

However, many very mundane and what may appear uneventful entries are included, she said.

Some of these uneventful entries include notes on appointments, listing of addresses, donations, calculations, things to do and things not done.

"People would be surprised in that they're not going to read Michael Collins' innermost thoughts or contemplations," Ms McBride said.

Michael Collins was an Irish revolutionary, soldier and politician who was a leading figure in the early-20th century struggle for Irish independence.

He was Chairman of the Provisional Government of the Irish Free State from January 1922 and commander-in-chief of the National Army from July until his death in an ambush in August 1922, during the Civil War.

22 August marks the centenary of his death, with more than 5,000 people expected to attend a commemoration event in west Cork.

Collins' diaries will be available in the National Archives and in digital format from September.