One 22 June 1922, Sir Henry Wilson was assassinated in broad daylight, in front of his own home in London. Field Marshall, Unionist MP for Ulster, former Chief of the Imperial General Staff (CIGS); he’d played a prominent role in the Curragh Mutiny crisis.
A chapter in the book re-examines the controversy surrounding the death of Wilson, shortly before Collins’ own end. Was there a connection?
(excerpt from the book)
I was given good reason to suspect a close relation between the shooting of Sir Henry Wilson and the shooting of Michael Collins, but when I tried to investigate this line I found every door closed on me – indeed some banged in my face.
– John M Feehan
Not unlike Collins’ own end, controversy continues to surround the assassination of Sir Henry Wilson. At the very same time that the anti-Treaty men were sweating it out in the Four Courts, two members of the London IRA shot Wilson dead, on the doorstep of his home in London, in broad daylight. This was months after hostilities with the British were officially ended: after the Truce, after the Treaty had been signed; “out of the blue” as it seemed.
The shooters were obeying orders. But from whom? Who gave the order? The mystery has never been solved.
… Allegations that either Collins or the anti-Treaty leaders ordered the operation do not hold water: these amount to no more than rumour, and are abundantly refuted by more substantial accounts. Yet Wilson was unquestionably shot by members of the London Brigade of the IRA.
… Wilson’s death was seized upon and exploited as a pretext for the British to threaten to declare the imperfect-but- hard-won Treaty null and void. In short, it set in motion those events which led directly to the death of Michael Collins. For these reasons, any re-examination of Béal na mBláth should not omit another look at Wilson’s mysterious, unsolved case.
“The Assassination of Michael Collins:
What Happened At Béal na mBláth?”
by S M Sigerson
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