Flowers and gifts left on Michael Collins' grave for Valentine's Day
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Flowers and gifts left on Michael Collins' grave for Valentine's Day

MICHAEL COLLINS died almost 100 years ago, but he has never been forgotten.

One of the most beloved figures in Irish history, the final resting place of the revolutionary remains the most visited grave in all of Glasnevin Cemetery.

This is no small feat considering Glasnevin contains the graves of numerous other high-profile historical figures, including Constance Markiewicz, Éamon De Valera, Charles Stewart Parnell and Arthur Griffith.

The pervasiveness of Collins' legacy can be seen again today, Valentine's Day 2020, 98 years after he died in an ambush at Béal na Bláth during the civil war.

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Michael Collins shortly before his death in 1922 (Picture: John O'Byrne)

As happens each year, his grave has been adorned with flowers, gifts, cards and balloons, left by fans across Ireland and further afield.

RTÉ spoke to Claire Hickey of the Glasnevin Trust Florist, who said they have received orders from as far away as America to ensure The Big Fellow felt the love on Valentine's Day.

One New York woman places a weekly order of gifts to be placed on Michael Collins's grave (Glasnevin Trust Florist)

One American woman used to write messages for Michael Collins that were "very lengthy and quite racy", Ms Hickey told the outlet.

Another customer told Ms Hickey that "had she been born 50 years earlier, [Collins' fiancee] Kitty Kiernan wouldn't have stood a chance".

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(Glasnevin Trust Florist)

Speaking to us here at The Irish Post, Ms Hickey spoke of the fascination people have with Michael Collins, using a quote from her late colleague, tour guide and friend.

"To be a hero you must be five things: young, charismatic, intelligent, good looking and dead," she says. "And I think that just about sums up the fascination with Michael Collins."

(Glasnevin Trust Florist)

Historian Conor Dodds told RTÉ that while flowers are left on the Cork native's grave throughout the year, "On Valentine's Day you get a steady stream of people".

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""Every now and again we have to clear the flowers to make room for more."

If you would like to organise a wreath or flowers to be placed on any of the graves withing Glasnevin Cemetery, you can contact Glasnevin Trust Florist on their Facebook page or website.