Irish News

Monday 28 July 2014

Letter from Michael Collins's betrayer sells for €4,675

Laura Butler

Published 01/05/2013|04:00

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Michael Collins: the informant's letter was intercepted by a spy of Collins inside Dublin Castle.
Michael Collins is seen at the rear of the car on the left just hours before his death

AN ORIGINAL letter that betrayed Michael Collins to the British authorities in Dublin Castle has been sold to a private Irish collector for €4,675.

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The lot had been estimated to fetch €3,000 and was among 699 historical documents that went under the hammer.

Dated November 11, 1919, it was signed by Harry Timothy Quinlisk, a former corporal in the Royal Irish Regiment, from 21 Gardiner Place, Dublin, and sent to Dublin Castle.

Quinlisk had joined Roger Casement's Irish Brigade while a prisoner of war in Germany.

At the time the letter was sent, the War of Independence was well under way and Collins was the most wanted man in the British Empire.

Quinlisk wrote: "I have decided to tell all I know of that organisation (Sinn Fein). The scoundrel Michael Collins has treated me scurvily."

It is believed Quinlisk's betrayal was a result of Collins' refusal to bankroll a gambling habit.

The informant's letter was intercepted by a spy of Collins inside Dublin Castle. Quinlisk was picked up by the IRA at Ballyphehane, Cork and later found shot dead.

Another item sold yesterday at Adam's Auction Rooms was an original printing of the 1916 Proclamation. It went for €120,000, including fees.

Irish Independent

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