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Michael Collins is not my hero

Sir -- To encourage anyone to venerate Michael Collins as a national hero ('A man who can make us all believe', Brendan O'Connor, Sunday Independent, September 26, 2010), is to request of them that they abjure their obligation to historical objective truth, intellectual honesty, and respect regarding the just war theory as laid out by Thomas Aquinas.

Had Collins been fighting a great evil, then the encomium heaped upon him by O'Connor and Michael McDowell would be justified. However, Michael Collins patently wasn't.

As intelligence officer of the IRA in mid-summer of 1919 -- with the terror and murder campaign against the Royal Irish Constabulary getting into full swing -- Collins formed the Squad in order to escalate republican-engendered anarchy, by assassinating detectives and specified government officials.

The rationale was to provoke Crown forces into a blunderbuss reaction in which innocent Catholics would be killed by government security forces, thus driving moderate nationalists into the arms of the IRA.

One must surmise that O'Connor and McDowell consider this tactical innovation as indicative of Collins' genius.

Obviously for O'Connor, and McDowell, an incapacity to imagine a man forced to kneel in his nightclothes, inside his own home, and cold-bloodedly shot dead in front of his screaming pleading wife and hysterical children, with his blood spattered upon their faces has its advantages when one belongs to the Collins cult of ritual slaughter.

By the end of the republican terror, over 4,000 people were dead or wounded; the majority of these killings and woundings, according to the late Peter Hart, were committed by the IRA and the proto-Nazi Squad.

We don't need a young killer like Collins born in the era of Queen Victoria to make us believe. And in what? That power lies through sadism and murder? This is what the Continuity IRA believes.

Obviously O'Connor and McDowell believe superfluous wars are just dandy, especially the historically home-grown variety. The truth is, Collins was a psychopath.

Pierce Martin,

Celbridge, Co Kildare

Sunday Independent