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Authors: Anthony Quinn

Blind Arrows (21 page)

BOOK: Blind Arrows
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Although Michael Collins survived the allegations of financial impropriety, Cathal Brugha continued his pursuit of the IRA leader until his death, dragging in Eamon de Valera, the rest of the Irish Republican leadership, and eventually the Irish parliament. The scandal took its toll on Collins, whose appearance began to betray his ill-health. A British Intelligence report from the time gave the following description of him: “Must have been a powerful man a few years ago, now heavy in movement and greatly out of condition.”

Despite his ill-health, Collins tried to bring about a truce in December 1920 that would have saved many lives, but he was unwilling to take the political risks necessary. He went on to lead the Irish delegation at the peace conference in London which resulted in the Anglo-Irish Treaty of December 1921. This brought the Irish Free State into existence and partitioned the island, with six predominantly Unionist counties in the north remaining outside the Free State. The Treaty was passed by the cabinet in Dublin by one vote. On 22 August 1922, Collins was assassinated by anti-treaty forces in an ambush in County Cork.

Letters between Collins and
Moya Llewelyn Davies were captured by Dublin Castle in 1921 and she was briefly jailed before being deported to Britain. Collins was worried while she was in prison and sent flowers to her daily. Once the truce was declared, she returned to Dublin and took a room in the Gresham Hotel where Collins had his headquarters. Claiming to have spied on behalf of Collins, she annoyed people around Collins by her claims to be at the ‘heart' of the revolution. Later in life, she added that she and Collins had been lovers. She died a lonely and vulnerable woman, her remains b
uried in an unmarked grave in Deansgrange Cemetery,


This ebook edition first published in 2015

by No Exit Press,

an imprint of Oldcastle Books,

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© Anthony Quinn 2015

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