Kitty and Michael: a revolutionary courtship

photo of Michael Collins

Michael Collins

photo of Kitty Kiernan

Kitty Kiernan

Some historians have been obliged to play down Michael Collin’s fiancé, Kitty Kiernan, in order to support their theories about his death.  However, Ms Kiernan cannot be relegated to a footnote here, but merits a few choice words on her own account (excerpt from the book): 

“There is no basis for the erroneous characterization of Ms Kiernan as politically naïve. It is, at best, a gloss of inexcusable carelessness. The contention that others would have had more capacity than Ms Kiernan, as a political confidante, is entirely refuted by the record.  Writers seem to have presumed on the fact that … Ms Kiernan was merely the proprietor of a small hotel and shops, in a modest country town, in rural Ireland; her name unknown to the public, outside of her relationship with Collins.  Collins biographers seem to have written off Ms Kiernan as clueless and useless politically, on this basis alone.

Clearly Collins did not think so; as an attentive reading of their letters illustrates. Such an assumption does not demonstrate adequate acquaintance with their correspondence, with her education, her family’s prominent, albeit secret role in the War of Independence; nor with the level of political sophistication general among Irish people of her time, place, class and social standing.  On the contrary, as muse, hostess, networker, companion and confidante, the Kiernan sisters and their hotel may be called the Irish nationalist counterparts, of a London lady’s political salon.  With Ms Kiernan, Collins could feel secure that he was not confiding in a British agent: the Kiernan hotel had been a key safe house for Volunteers throughout the War of Independence. In their correspondence, she and Collins frequently discussed the political situation; of which she demonstrated a keen grasp, often providing insight and encouragement. The C-in-C, for his part, explicitly declared that Kitty was more and more necessary to him in these stressful days, and that “there’s no one like you.”

Ms Kiernan came from precisely the same sort of background as he: a traditional Irish farming family, hard-working, upwardly mobile,  successful in business and adaptable to town life. Both were products of a progressive, republican education. Both were ambitious, modern and stylish. In Collins’ world, Ms Kiernan was an elegant lady, and the female of his own species.”

Read more:

The Assassination of Michael Collins:
What Happened At Béal na mBláth?
by S M Sigerson
Paperback or Kindle edition here:
www.amazon.com/dp/1493784714

All other e-reader formats:
www.smashwords.com/books/view/433954

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Michael Collins’ clandestine love and war

 

Michael Collins August 1922

Discussion of Collins’ personal life and intimate relationships continues to make news headlines, even today.

In the months leading up to his death, controversy on that subject erupted: in the rhetoric of his political opponents.

Here are some excerpts on this topic, from the book
“The Assassination of Michael Collins:
What Happened at Béal na mBláth?”
(Paperback or e-book at: http://www.amazon.com/Assassination-Michael-Collins-Happened-mBláth/dp/1493784714)

Michael Collins was a clever, politic man; clever enough to outmanoeuvre an army on his trail, for years on end.  No scandal concerning a woman was ever attached to his name for the first thirty years of his life.  …  

              It is to be supposed that a man who could run a guerrilla campaign, under the very noses of Dublin Castle, could manage to exclude unwanted spectators from his sex life. Evidently he did manage his personal intimacy, as men of good character in those days were expected to: without noise, without publicity, without exploitation of the innocent, and without scandal.
                   The period for which we are asked to believe that he carried on affairs with more than one British noblewoman, is from the time of the Treaty negotiations on.  This is when he became overwhelmed with the most mind-boggling workload of his remarkable career.  In addition to this, he was spending every weekend possible, and many weekdays, with Ms Kiernan (as their correspondence abundantly documents.)  In view of all this, that he either would or could have indulged in an on-going sexual liaison with a notorious London society siren (or two,) in the full glare of publicity which his frequent meetings at 10 Downing Street now suddenly trained on him … This is in itself beggars belief.
                     But that anyone would ever catch him doing it?  That for the first and only time in his life, he would have failed to keep private, anything which he did not wish to be known, anything which it would behove him to conceal . . . This is demonstrably incongruous, and entirely contradicts his modus operandi, in every other comparable question.”

http://www.irishexaminer.com/lifestyle/features/michael-collins-still-gets-valentines-cards-92-years-after-death-258696.html

http://www.irishcentral.com/roots/craic/Guess-who-receives-Valentines-Day-cards-92-years-after-his-death.html

Lost letter from Collins to Kitty Kiernan

A “long-lost letter” from Michael Collins to his fiancé Kitty Kiernan  supports author’s contention about the role she played in the months leading up to his death

(http://www.irishcentral.com/roots/history/Michael-Collins-long-lost-letter-to-fiancee-Kitty-Kiernan-revealed.html#ixzz2r36W20aq)

(Exceprts from the new book
“The Assassination of Michael Collins: What Happened at Béal na mBláth?”)

“… Some historians have been obliged to play down Michael’s fiancé, in order to support their theories about Lady Lavery, and about his death. 

There is no basis for the erroneous characterization of Ms Kiernan as politically naïve. . . .  Ms Kiernan was . . . unknown to the public, outside of her relationship with Collins.  Collins biographers seem to have written off Ms. Kiernan as clueless and useless politically, on this basis alone.   

Clearly Collins did not think so; as an attentive reading of their letters illustrates.
. . . On the contrary, as muse, hostess, networker, companion and confidante, the Kiernan sisters and their hotel may be called the Irish nationalist counterparts, of a London lady’s political salon.”

Buy Paperback online at: https://www.createspace.com/4528334
Kindle edition available at: www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00FZ1BCBA