Tuesday 22 October 2019

Kitty Kiernan valise pulled from auction

Kitty Kiernan’s case may have fetched €6,000
Kitty Kiernan’s case may have fetched €6,000

Sarah Slater

A vanity case belonging to the fiancee of slain Irish revolutionary, soldier and politician Michael Collins was withdrawn from auction after the vendor changed their mind about selling it.

Lot 117 owned by Kitty Kiernan was due to be sold by Whyte's auctioneers at the Free Mason's Hall on Molesworth Street, Dublin, yesterday.

Her black leather vanity case, with fitted interior lined dark green watered silk was on sale at Whyte's auction house in their Eclectic Collector auction. Valued at up to €6,000, the case contains silver mounted glass jars and accessories hallmarked in 1897. A headscarf, a pair of gloves and eight various photographs of Kitty, including a photograph of her at Beal na mBlath in 1923 where Collins had been shot dead.

Kitty Kiernan first met Collins in 1918 when he stayed at her family's hotel in Granard, Co Longford, with his friend Irish republican politician Harry Boland.

She had also been the love interest of Boland with both vying for her attention and love.

Collins proposed to Kitty on October 8, 1921 in the Grand Hotel in Greystones, Wicklow.

When Collins announced his engagement in the Dail, Boland magnanimously sent a letter to Kitty congratulating her on the news.

In 1925 she married Felix Cronin, who was Quartermaster General in the Irish Army.

They had two sons, the second of whom they called Michael Collins Cronin.

She died of Bright's Disease (kidney disease) on July 24, 1945.

She requested that she be buried as close as possible to her great love, Michael Collins.

She is buried in Glasnevin Cemetery, not far from where Collins lies, and was joined there 16 years later by her husband Felix.

Sunday Independent

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