BÉASLAÍ, Piaras. Michael Collins and the Making of a New Ireland. Two volumes. A new introduction by Brian P. Murphy, O.S.B. With two portraits in full colour by Sir John Lavery, and other illustrations to each volume. This major work on Michael Collins is by one of his closest friends. An item which is now commanding in excess of four figures in the auction houses. Dublin: De Búrca, 2008. pp. (1) xxxii, 292, (2) vi, 328.
The general edition is limited to 1,000 sets superbly bound in green buckram, with a medallion portrait embossed in gilt on the upper covers, and in slipcase.
Michael Collins (1890-1922), was born at Woodfield, Clonakilty, County Cork, the son of a small farmer. Educated locally, and at the age of sixteen went to London as a clerk in the Post Office. He joined the I.R.B. in London. During Easter Week he was Staff Captain and ADC to James Connolly in the GPO. With The O’Rahilly he led the first party out of the GPO immediately before its surrender. Arrested, imprisoned and released in December 1916.
After the victory of Sinn Féin in the 1918 general election and the establishment of Dáil Éireann as the Irish parliament he was made Minister of Home Affairs and later Minister for Finance, and organised the highly successful National Loan. A most capable organiser with great ability and physical energy, courage and force of character, he was simultaneously Adjutant General of the Volunteers, Director of Organisation, Director of Intelligence and Minister for Finance. He organised the supply of arms for the Volunteers and set up a crack intelligence network and an execution squad nicknamed Twelve Apostles. He was for a long time the most wanted man in Ireland but he practically eliminated the British Secret Service with the Bloody Sunday morning operation. Michael Collins and the Making of a New Ireland is the official biography of a great soldier-statesman and the first authentic history of the rebirth of a nation. Written with inner knowledge by an intimate friend and comrade-in-arms who served with Collins on Headquarters Staff and who shared in many of his amazing adventures and hairsbreadth escapes.