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Friday 15 December 2017

Photo of Michael Collins just hours before his death discovered in attic

Mim O'Donovan with the original photos
Mim O'Donovan with the original photos
In this picture taken by Agnes Hurley, Michael Collins is seen at the rear of the car on the left just hours before his death

Louise Roseingrave and Denis Boyle

MICHAEL Collins is pictured just hours from death in remarkable photographs uncovered from an attic.

The photographs were taken in August 1922 by then 18-year-old Agnes Hurley, from Mallowgaton in Bandon, using an old Brownie box camera.

Her remarkable collection spans 20 years, dating from 1921, and includes hundreds of photographs. Part of the collection was lost but was rediscovered in an attic in Dublin last year.

Ms Hurley's niece Mim O'Donovan, from Bandon, brought the pictures to the 'Revolutionary Decade Roadshow' in Clonakilty organised by the History Department at University College Cork. The second picture captures the scene at Beal na Blath on August 23, 1922, the day after the ambush where Collins was killed. It shows what historians believe to be Collins's shirt collar on the road.

No known photograph of the post-ambush site was believed to exist previously.

"Aggie went to Beal na Blath to see what had happened because they'd heard gunshots the previous day. She took hundreds of photographs over the years and dated the back of every single one," Ms O'Donovan said. Cork archivist Brian Magee described the find as "extraordinary".

Irish Independent

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