Michael Collins and the apple woman

Politician Michael Collins and the Civil War period find place in the O’Donohoe Collection.1



About one week before Michael Collins was shot, he won the blessings of an old apple woman.  It occurred on 14 August 1922, just two days after the death of President Arthur Griffith, when ‘the responsibilities of controlling a state beset by enemies within might well have borne down and harassed an even experienced statesman’:


This old lady, trudging along near the kerb, had knocked from her arm by a passing vehicle the basket of apples she was carrying.  She nearly burst into tears when she saw her stock spoilt by the mud.


Someone touched her on the shoulder and asked how much they were worth. Before the old lady had a chance to extol the extent of her loss, her enquirer had passed into her hand a piece of paper money – and passed on.


The enquirer did not stop to receive the outflow of blessings that came from the lips of the apple woman – for Michael Collins, ‘one of Erin’s best loved men’, was as reluctant to take credit for his kindly actions as he was anxious to perform them.2



1 IE MOD/53 (see also IE MOD/3 Ballyseedy). Material includes notes on David Lloyd George, 1st Earl of Dwyfor, with particular reference to his political role during the Civil War and one reproduction of The Free State, Dublin Wednesday August 30 1922, Michael Collins Memorial Number issued by Boyne Publications, Trim, Co Meath in 1996 price £2.
2 From 'Little known tales of Michael Collins', Lincolnshire Chronicle 26 August 1922.