Michael John Collins was an Irish revolutionary leader, the man given the status of a hero of the Irish struggle for independence. He was the Minister of Finance in the First Dail of 1919 as well as being the Director of Intelligence for the Irish Republican Army…
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This movie was Neil Jordan's depiction of the epic life of the man considered to be the 'Lion of Ireland', who was the leader of the movement against the British rule and in large part, the founder of the Irish Free State in 1921. Liam Neeson had the lead role, as he plays this man who attempted a heroic act, but became the 'fall guy' himself, when the negotiations and compromise he had helped achieve, became the cause for even more bloodshed, and a civil war, where his own people turned against him saying that he had betrayed them.
In 1922, when he was merely 31 years old, he was shot and killed by an Irish Republican soldier during the Irish Civil war. Most Irish political parties hold him in great reverence as they acknowledge and respect his endeavors in the journey towards the modern Irish state. His achievements are often lauded by the Irish people, who think of him as nothing less than a hero who changed the rules of warfare and developed an intelligence network so stellar, that it effectively rivaled that of the British Empire. His expert leadership and negotiation skills ensured that Ireland climbed the first, definitive rung on the ladder to becoming a Republic and oversaw the nation's rocky road to democracy. For the Irish, for all these reasons and more, just his name conjures up passion and they wonder if the future for them might have been different had he still been alive.
However, the achievemen...
ques for guerilla warfare, as he organized assassinations of Irish people known as G-men, who worked for the British as informers and then later, of the members of British intelligence. And due to this; there is often a debate about whether Collins was a hero or villain. The treaty that he brought back from London, which was a compromise of a divided Ireland and an Irish Free State which is not a Republic, divided the country into two halves that just could not see eye to eye and resulted in the Irish Civil War, which was bloodier than the War of Independence before it, and the impact of which is evident in Irish society till this date.
Michael Collins remains an Irish hero, and not a villain, but what must be understood is that great men often take actions for the greater good, even if that means making some sacrifices in the short term. The movie portrays him as man who was forced to take some actions, like negotiating self-government for the south of Ireland, but inclusive of an oath of allegiance to the Crown. This wasn't complete freedom, which was what everyone wanted, but it was the best negotiation possible with the British at that time, a negotiation he had been forced to conduct on behalf of the Republic's president Eamon De Valera, who wanted him to take the blame for the compromise settlement.
Michael Collins, Carlos Marighella and Che Guevara were all proponents of guerilla warfare. The model of political violence which was propagated by Collins was more similar to that of Guevera's as both became revolutionary leaders who strived to change a form of rule that they did not agree with. Collins was unhappy with the rule of the British and organized inexperienced townspeople into a group who worked their best with scant resources. Guevera did the same in
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(“Michael Collins Reaction Paper Book Report/Review”, n.d.)
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(Michael Collins Reaction Paper Book Report/Review)
“Michael Collins Reaction Paper Book Report/Review”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/miscellaneous/1515680-michael-collins-reaction-paper.
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