Collins did not die for an Ireland of grubby deals for bent bankers
Increasingly as the 100th anniversary of 1916 approaches and I think and research more about the Rising and its leaders, I am driven to the conclusion that the extent of our contemporary problems can be measured by the distance we have travelled as a society from the idealism of men like Michael Collins, who was commemorated at Béal na mBláth yesterday.
Idealism is no namby-pamby condition lived by the unreal. Collins was one of the most ruthless and most pragmatic of men, prepared to sacrifice his life for what he believed in but ready also to work to bring his ideals to life by hard work, efficiency, honesty and integrity - all the words that went out of fashion during the Celtic Tiger era.
I believe that if Collins were alive today he would have both the guts and the ability to bridge the gulf that is opening up between improvement in the laws of the boardroom and those of the bedroom. We have stood up to the church in the areas of contraception, divorce and same-sex marriage. Abortion lies ahead.