Project Description

Michael Collins and Kitty Kiernan

Michael Collins was a key figure in Ireland’s battle for independence from British rule in the early 20th century. In 1917, while staying at the Greville Arms Hotel, Collins and his close friend Harry Boland met Kitty Kiernan. Both he and Harry soon developed a romantic interest in the fun-loving, quick-witted Kitty. The tussle continued all the way through until October 1921 when Boland was dispatched to New York to raise funds and Collins was sent to London to negotiate the Anglo-Irish Treaty. While in London, he wrote to Kitty every single day. The exchanged hundreds of letters and Collins ultimately won Kitty’s heart. In January 1922, he announced in Dáil Éireann that they were to marry in June. The plan was for a double ceremony with Michael and Kitty standing alongside Kitty’s sister Maud and Gearoid – cousin of Michael Collins and a fellow member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood. The wedding was postponed until October on account of the Civil War, in which Harry Boland and Michael Collins took opposite sides. Michael Collins was assassinated at Béal na Blá on 22 August 1922, three weeks after Harry Boland was gunned down in Skerries. There was only one floral tribute permitted on Collins’ flag-covered coffin – a single white peace lily from Kitty Kiernan.