Michael Collins

Opening lines:

"At the turn of the century Britain was the foremost world power and the British Empire stretched over two-thirds of the globe. Despite the extent of its power its most troublesome colony had always been the one closest tow it, Ireland. For seven hundred years Britain's rule over Ireland had been resisted by attempts at rebellion and revolution, all of which ended in failure. Then, in 1916, a rebellion began, to be followed by a guerilla war, which would change the nature of that rule forever. The mastermind behind that war was Michael Collins. His life and death defined the period, in its triumph, terror and tragedy. This is his story."

DUBLIN, 1916 EASTER RISING [scene runs 01:47 through 5:22] Track 2 - Track 3

[The film begins with the final shots of a failed rebellion. Rebellious Irish militia men -- some loosely uniformed, some not -- are now surrendering to the British Army.]

SOLDIER: Cease firing. Cease firing. Cease firing. Move forward. Come forward. Keep your hands in the air, and your weapons visible at all times. Form up in three columns across the square. Now ground your arms, and take three paces back, slowly.

VOICE FROM AFAR: Move three paces back, now!

COLLINS: Games over Harry, lost again.

SOLDIER: Pick your feet up. Move it you Fenian bastard.

[Car approaches gates and Smith, a civilian official, exits the car]

SOLDIER: Open the gates...Now, show me the ringleaders of this little farce.

SMITH: Pearse, with the gunner eye. McDonagh. Thomas Clarke. Connolly. Get up, you Fenian swine. Get up. [kicking Connolly]

DE VALERA: Wait, Michael, wait.

COLLINS: Till When?

DE VALERA: Till the next time.

SMITH: Eamon deValera. [The soldiers take him away]

BOLAND: What happens next time?

COLLINS: We won't play by their rules, Harry. We'll invent our own.

DE VALERA [scene runs 05:22 through 7:20] Track 3


DE VALERA [writing to Collins]:

The fact that I was born in America might save my hide. Either way, I am ready for what comes. The Irish Republic is a dream no longer. It is daily sealed by the lifeblood of those who proclaimed it. And every one of us they shoot brings more people to our side. They cannot imprison us forever. And, from the day of our release Michael, we must act as if the republic is a fact. We defeat the British Empire by ignoring it.



HOMECOMING [scene runs 07:20 through 09:15] Track 4

[Collins and Harry Boland have just been released. They ride the train home.]

COLLINS: They let us out of jail so we can do our best to be put inside again, Harry. Don't you see a certain paradox in that? Hum? Paradox? A contradiction. Where an immovable force meets an immovable object kind-of-thing.

[Boland snores]


COLLINS: [coming off the train, looking at a new bride] Look at it, Harry. Isn't that a lovely picture? Maybe we should settle down.

BOLAND: Aye. Just the two of us?

COLLINS: And him.



[Collins and Boland are greeted by an acquaintance. Collins also notices they are being watched by government detectives.]

MAN: All right, Michael, how are ya?

COLLINS: So tell me, how long has your men been there for?

MAN: As long as we have. Half-an-hour or so.

COLLINS: How did they know we were coming?

MAN: They know what we eat for breakfast.

COLLINS: There's only one way to beat them then.

BOLAND: What's that?

COLLINS: Find out what they eat for breakfast.


ON THE STUMP [scene runs 09:49 through 11:14] Track 5

[In this scene, Collins speaks to an assembled crowd, seeking support for the cause of independence. The Irish republicans -- those seeking independence from the British Government -- go on to elect Eamon De Valera the President of the Irish Republic. This is of course treasonous.]

COLLINS: The fact the candidate you've been asked to vote for is at this moment
rotting in an English jail shouldn't put you off! I was in one myself but a
week ago!

They can jail us. They can shoot us. They can even conscript us. They can use us as cannon fodder in the Somme. But...but we have a weapon more powerful than any in the whole arsenal of the British empire. And that weapon is our refusal, our refusal to bow to any order but our own, to any institution but our own.

COLLINS: Our friends in at the Royal Irish Constabulary would like to shut me up.

[Shouts from the crowd.]

COLLINS: Jail me again, shoot me, who knows? But I'd like you to send them a message.! If they shut me up, who'll take my place? Who's going to take my place?

CROWD: We will!

COLLINS: Who's going to take my place?

CROWD: We will!

COLLINS: I can't hear you. Who's going to take my place? Will they shut you up?

AN INVISIBLE ARMY [scene runs 14:56 through 17:00] Track 7

COLLINS: We'll be an invisible army. Our uniform will be that of the man on the street, the peasant in the field. We'll come out of the crowd, strike the enemy and vanish back into the crowd again.

BOY: What do you propose we strike with?

COLLINS: What have you got? [the group of boys show their weapons] Jeez, look at this Harry. Same old story. You need something better. Sean, where's that
police barracks?

SEAN: Two miles down the road.

COLLINS: Two miles down that road there's an arsenal!

BOY: How the f*** are we supposed to get it? We haven't even got bullets!

COLLINS: But they don't know that. [Picking up a sod of turf] What's that?

BOY: A sod of turf.

COLLINS: Wrong. That's a weapon. F****** deadly. You don't believe me? [soaks it in kerosene and lights it on fire] What is it now? Hum?

COLLINS: [lighting the police barracks on fire as those inside run out of the building] Good evening, lads. Hands in the air.

KID: Drop your weapons!


COLLINS: Gentlemen, we'll be relieving you of your responsibilities. Grab that bag, one of you Jesus, lads, its Christmas.

COLLINS: You'll be organized in flying columns. We'll live on the road. You'll engage the enemy on nobody's terms but your own. What's your name?

PAT: Pat.

COLLINS: Whose terms, Pat? [handing him a gun]

PAT: Ours.

COLLINS: I want each one of those [guns] to capture ten more. And I want you to account for every bullet. Do you understand? Stand up. Do you understand?

ALL: Yes, sir.

COLLINS: Stand up. Do you understand?

ALL: Yes, sir.

COLLINS: I'll make a f****** army out of you if it's the last thing I do.

CABINET MEETING [scene runs 19:11 through 21:47] Track 8

CATHAL: I am getting very tired of watching the spectacle of an upstart dominating these entire cabinet proceedings. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. The minister is, as usual, exceeding his brief.

COLLINS: And just what is my brief, Cathal?

CATHAL: Intelligence.

COLLINS: B*** S***!! I'm minister for gunrunning, daylight robbery, and general mayhem. But until our boys are armed, nothing is going to happen. But, as minister of intelligence, I'd like to inform you that every man jack of us is to be arrested - tonight.

CATHAL: How does the minister know this?

COLLINS: Now, now Cathal, don't exceed your brief. Names, addresses, next of kin - of the whole cabinet. They know more about us than our own mothers do.

DE VALERA: How do we know it's genuine?

BOLAND: We don't chief, but it could well be.

COLLINS: So nobody sleeps at home tonight.

DE VALERA: I disagree…. Do sleep at home tonight. If Mr. Collins has been gulled, we'll sleep soundly. If not, they will arrest the cabinet. The public outcry will be deafening, maybe then the world will listen.

COLLINS: Dev, you can't be serious. We've been rotting in English jails for long enough, man.

DE VALERA: I am serious, Michael.

COLLINS: F*** 'em.

BOLAND: Mind your tongue.

COLLINS: They're f***** with the future.

BOLAND: Mother of God.

COLLINS: Pull in, pull in. Christ, the G-man was right. Come on.

DE VALERA: This is an illegal arrest… by an illegal force of occupation!

COLLINS: Jesus Christ. That's the safest house in Dublin, now. May as well stay the night.

INTELLIGENCE [scene runs 30:33 through 32:32] Track 12

[The government detective, Ned Broy whom Collins calls the G-man and who tipped Collins off to the planned arrests of the Cabinet, agrees to prove his loyalty to the republican cause. Collins asks Broy to sneak him into the "Castle," where the Government's intelligence files are kept, so Collins can see those files and find out what the Government knows about the Irish militias and insurrectionists. Collins stays in the Castle all night reading files on himself and others. He determines that the Government could crush their cause in a week. He decides that to be successful, he must play at the same intelligence game. In the morning he returns to his headquarters.]

JOE: Jesus Christ, Mick, where the **** have you been?

COLLINS: Working.

JOE: Working where?

COLLINS: I want a file drawn up on every member of the British Administration. Look through whatever you can find: Who's Who, stubs, and society columns. I want names, address, clubs, where they bank, down to what they eat for breakfast. Keep it up to date; add to it every week. Tom?

TOM: Yeah.

COLLINS: Get me a list of your 12 best men in the Dublin division. Young, without families.

TOM: What for?

COLLINS: Christ, the 12 Apostles. Just do it for f**** sake? And Joe, take a letter.

BOLAND: Where the hell have you been?

COLLINS: To whom it may concern: This is to inform you that any further collaboration with the forces of occupation will be punishable by death. You have been warned. Signed, the Irish Republican Army.

BOLAND: Are you serious?

COLLINS: Afraid so. Send one to every G-man. I got a look at their files, they know more about us than we do. Look. Look, that's us

BOLAND: Where'd you get these?

COLLINS: You know how they thrive don't you?

BOLAND: Informers.

COLLINS: Without them, the Brits would have no system. They couldn't move. Now imagine Dublin, with the Castle, where anyone, and I mean anyone, who collaborated knew he'd be shot. They wouldn't be able to move outside those f****** walls. That's how serious I am.

BOLAND: There's only one problem.

COLLINS: What's that?

BOLAND: We'd have to do it.

COLLINS: Yes. So…could you bear it?


ASSASSINATION [scene runs 35:06 through 36:42] Track 13

[This scene shows the consequences of Collins's decision. And, it shows, how he determines to command his irregular soldiers to use their irregular or terrorist tactics.]

COLLINS: Any of ye who have read Irish history will know that movements like ours have always destroyed by paid spies and informers. I want to set up an outfit that will rectify that. Your job will be to wreck the system of information the Castle uses against us -- to make it unhealthy for them to run it.

MAN: How unhealthy?


BOLAND: We've sent letters of warning to every G-man. If they're stupid enough to stay in the Castle then they'll be shot.

COLLINS: You'll have to do the shooting. Don't expect it to be pleasant. Now, any of ye with any qualms, there's the door.

VINNY: Would we have got past the door?

COLLINS: You would have, Vinny. Seriously though, I won't force this on any man.

[Cut to street scene, where in the open-air market, we see the first of these assassinations.]

VINNY: May the Lord have mercy on your soul.


PEACE AND QUIET [scene runs 40:15 through 41:18] Track 16

COLLINS: Yeah, I want peace and quiet. I want it so much I'd die for it.

BOLAND: You mean you'd kill for it first?

COLLINS: No not first, last.

BOLAND: Did it ever strike you, you are good at it?

COLLINS: Good at what?

BOLAND: Bloody mayhem.

COLLINS: You're not so bad yourself.

BOLAND: But Mick, you're more than good.

BOLAND: You'll leave them sitting in the halfpenny place.

COLLINS: We haven't seen anything yet.

BOLAND: Are you saying things are going to get worse? So then we'll have to get worse?


COLLINS: And you know what I think then. I hate them. Not for their race, not for their brutality. I hate them because they left us know way out. I hate whoever put a gun in young Vinny Byrne's hand. I know it's me and I hate myself for it. I hate them for making hate necessary, and I'll do what I have to, to end it


GOING TO AMERICA [scene runs 44:23 through 45:13] Track 18

[Collins and Boland have broken De Valera out of prison, and in this scene, Collins meets with De Valera in hiding. He has heard from Boland that De Valera wants to take Boland with him to America.]

COLLINS: Dev. You can't do this to me.

DE VALERA: I want to petition the American public for their support. I want recognition from President Wilson for an Irish Republic. I want the moral force of international opinion brought to bear on the British government.

COLLINS: There's only one kind of force they understand, and you know it! Our job is at home.

DE VALERA: Our job is where I say it is. And, as President of the Irish republic, I want recognition from the President of the United States.

COLLINS: Go on to American then, blast you! But leave me Boland!

DE VALERA: What's so special about Harry?

COLLINS: I know my men, and I can't do it without him.

DE VALERA: Do what?

COLLINS: I can't run a war without Harry Boland!

DE VALERA: You could run it without me.


A NEW REGIME [scene runs 47:10 through 48:09] Track 20

[Smith, who runs the intelligence operation in Dublin is assassinated by the IRA. The government sends a new regime from Belfast to the Castle. Here the Belfast man speaks with Broy, Collins's double agent inside the Castle.]

BELFAST MAN: Since you Dublin boyos can't sort out this Collins. I suppose it's up to us.

BROY: Files on the IRB, England, Scotland, America, Irish Volunteers. Sinn Fein, more Sinn Fein.

BELFAST MAN: Forget the files! I want a list of anyone connected to this geezer, and I want them lifted. Tonight.

BROY: It's not that simple, sir.

BELFAST MAN: But it is that simple, Mr. Broy. We'll make it that simple. There's a new regime in here and it's starting now. Good day Mr. Broy. Bit of Belfast efficiency is what they need.

[He leaves gets in a car with the others from the new Belfast regime. Broy turns to go back to the Castle. As the car is started, it explodes.]

A NEW REGIME II [scene runs 51:01 through 55:33] Track 22-23

[British intelligence, lead by Mr. Soames, and a force known as the Black and Tans, mostly Scotsmen, is called in to Ireland to help restore order and to break the backs of the insurgents.]

NEWSREEL: A new force of His Majesty's Finest arrives in Ireland to rid the troubled Land of its blight of Terror.

[Inside the Castle]

SOAMES: Take a section each, and time is of the essence. The sooner we finish, the sooner we go home. Toothcomb, gentlemen, toothcomb.

[Scene moves from the Castle to outside, where the Black and Tans ride through the street. The people harass the soldiers, until they begin to fire on the people. The people fight back and the soldiers' truck catches fire. Scene shifts outside, where Collins and Broy stand alone on a scenic bridge, as a train passes.]

COLLINS: I love trains, don't you Ned?

BROY: What's so special about them?

COLLINS: They make me think of places I know I'll never see.

BROY: They're the elite of the British Secret Service. Churchill handpicked them.

COLLINS: Give me everything you've got. No addresses?

BROY: They keep to themselves.

COLLINS: They were sent here for one reason, weren't they?

BROY: To eliminate you and your boys. I can't hold on much longer Mick, it's pulling me to ribbons.

COLLINS: Neither can I, Ned, but sure keep it a secret, would you?

[Cut to a meeting room at the Castle led by Mr. Soames]

SOAMES: Doesn't he have a face this Collins? Doesn't he have corporeal form. Is this the best you've got?

BROY: Afraid so sir.

SOAMES: Thank you boy, that'll be all.

BROY: Broy, sir. Bye.

SOAMES: Yes, Broy.

[Scene shifts to outside a boardinghouse where Mr. Soames is staying. He walks out the front door]

COLLINS: Can I trouble you for a light, Sir? [Mr. Soames, not recognizing Collins, gives him a light] Ta. [Collins enters the boarding house, and then exits immediately as Mr. Soames has left. He walks to a car where Ned Broy is waiting] So, that's Mr. Soames. How many to go?

BROY: Nineteen.


SUFFICIENT UNTO THE DAY IS THE EVIL THEREOF... [scene runs 1:03:20 through 1:06:40] Track 24

[A woman called Kitty waits with Collins alone in a room.]

KITTY: You've sent your boys out, haven't you? It's written on your face. Every step they take, like so many valentines, delivering bouquets. Do you send a love note, Mick, with the flowers? What does it say?

[Cut to a scene where IRA soldiers ambush a man in his tub.]

IRA SOLDIER: Do it, do it now! [The other IRA soldier shoots the man in the tub] Jesus. Come on, go, go.

[Back to Kitty and Collins]

COLLINS: It says, "Leave us be."

KITTY: Is that all? Not very romantic.

[Cut to another assassination scene. A British agent with a woman in a room.]

IRA MAN: Move away from her.

MAN: You could at least spare my wife this spectacle.

[The man reaches for a gun to defend himself]

WOMAN: I'm not his bloody wife!

[The IRA soldiers kill him. Cut to yet another British agent alone in a field. The IRA surrounds him while he exercises.]

IRA MAN: Say your prayers.

[Return to Collins and Kitty]

COLLINS: You know what it says Kitty, give us back the future. We've had enough of your past. Give us our country back. To live in, to grow in, to love.

[Scene quickly cuts to field where the IRA shoots the man while he recites a prayer, then shifts back to Collins and Kitty.]

KITTY: So there is love there, huh, Mick?

[Scene shifts to Mr. Soames' room]

SOAMES: Hang on Rosie, clean sheets I think. [IRA men burst in and shoot Mr. Soames]

[Morning church bells. Return to Kitty and Collins.]

KITTY: So Mick, flowers delivered. Do you think they got the message?


REPRISALS [scene runs 1:11:49 through 1:14:22] Track 26-27

[De Valera has returned from America. He, and the provisional Irish cabinet are meeting again. Collins arrives late.]

COLLINS: Apologies Gentlemen.

DE VALERA: As you may know… we have had some communication from the British side. There is a slim possibility that they might want to talk. But our… tactics… allowed the British press to paint us as murderers. If we are to negotiate as a legitimate government, our armed forces must act like a legitimate army.

COLLINS: What exactly do you mean, Dev?

DE VALERA: I mean large-scale engagements.

COLLINS: You mean like in 1916? [Collins refers to Easter rebellion, with which the film opens.] The great heroic ethic of failure, all marching in step towards slaughter? Why don't we save them the all the bother and blow our own brains out?

CATHAL: How dare you?

COLLINS: How do you think we've got them to this point, where they'll even consider talking? We brought them to their knees the only way we could.

DE VALERA: They call us murderers.

COLLINS: War is murder, shear bloody murder. Had you'd been here for the past year, you'd know that!

DEV: I propose an assault on the administrative center of British rule in Ireland, the Customs House.

[Cut to after the assault.]

BOLAND: Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

IRA MAN: How many did we loose?

COLLINS: Six dead, seventy taken. Bloody fiasco!


USED UP [scene runs 1:15:33 through 1:16:42] Track 28

[DeValera, Collins and Boland meet.]

DE VALERA: How much longer can we hold out?

COLLINS: Four weeks, but keep it a secret.

DE VALERA: As little as that?

COLLINS: Unless you want us to keep up with bows and arrows.

DE VALERA: Don't be flippant, Michael.

COLLINS: We lost nearly 80 men last week, Dev. You tell him, Harry.

BOLAND: He's right, Chief.

[Scene shits to Boland and Collins along riding on the beach together on bicycles.]

COLLINS: I lied Harry.

BOLAND: You lied, about what?

COLLINS: I doubt if we can hold out another week.

BOLAND: Good Christ, do they know that?

COLLINS: Nobody knows.

BOLAND: Mick, Dev's negotiating.

COLLINS: Yes, so he doesn't know either. And, it's very important that he doesn't know, Harry. The world has to believe we're invincible. Maybe then we can talk.


A STATESMAN? [scene runs 1:20:26 through 1:21:47] Track 29

[The British agree to talks with the provisional government -- meaning DeValera and other representatives. DeValera determines to send Collins in his place.]

COLLINS: What? You must be joking. No I wouldn't do it. I'm not a politician I'm not going to London.

MINISTER: You're the strongest card we have.

COLLINS: They call me an assassin and a murderer for Christ's sake. Can you even see Churchill shaking my hand?

DE VALERA: We've broached it, and they had no objections.

COLLINS: You go Dev, you're the statesman. You've got some sense of how far we can push them. They know you.

DE VALERA: That's the whole point. They don't know you.

COLLINS: Don't do this to me Dev. Don't do it. I'm no good at talk. I'm a yob from West Cork, Dev. Please!

DE VALERA: You'll head our team, Michael, to negotiate a treaty for the first time in history between Ireland and England. We need to keep a final arbitrator in reserve.

COLLINS: And that'll be you.

DE VALERA: That'll be the Irish people…. and me, as President of the Irish republic.


THE WAR IS JUST BEGINNING [scene runs 1:25:50 through 1:27:27] Track 32

[Collins returns, after four months, having, in negotiations, achieved an Irish Free State, but not the fully independent Irish Republic as he'd hoped. Ireland, will have it's own government, but the North remains part of the British Empire and the Free State must swear allegiance to the British Crown.

Collins calls the treaty a "stepping stone" to achieve a republic. He argues that this outcome is best anyone could have got, as giving the Irish a republic is "not within the comprehension" of the British Empire. A government of it's own will allow Ireland to achieve any republic it wants, in time. It is this or war, and he says "I won't go to war over the form of words." DeValera is not pleased.]

DE VALERA: You published the terms without my agreement!

COLLINS: They were the best we could get.

DE VALERA: In your opinion.

COLLINS: And, what's more Dev, you sent me there because you knew they were the best we could get.

DE VALERA: That is idle speculation.

COLLINS: No, it's the truth. Otherwise, you would have gone yourself. I know it doesn't give us the republic. But it gives us freedom to achieve the republic, peacefully. And, surely, it's time for peace.

DE VALERA: What would you know about peace?

COLLINS: When I agreed to go to London, you said we could negotiate on behalf of our government, the Dail, and the Irish people. If they reject it, I'll reject it. But, if they stand by it, I'll stand by it. And I want to know that you'll do the same.


THE WAR IS JUST BEGINNING [scene runs 1:30:07 through 1:34:18] Track 33-34

[The newly legitimate parliament of the Ireland, the Dail, meets to consider the question of the treaty with Britain. Collins, like other members of the provisional Cabinet, is there as a representative.]

CATHAL: Mr. Griffith has described Mr. Collins as the man who won the war!

COLLINS: A point of order, Mr. Chairman. Are we discussing the treaty or discussing myself?

CATHAL: The Minister does not like what I have to say.

COLLINS: Anything that can be said about me, say it!

CATHAL: Mr. Collins, the position you had in the army was as chief of one of the subsections. Nobody sought notoriety accept you.

COLLINS: Come on, Cathal!

CATHAL: One person was held up by the press and put into a position he never held. He was made a romantic figure, a mystical character, which he certainly is not. The person I refer to is Michael Collins.

COLLINS: I would plead with every person here. Make me a scapegoat if you will. Call me a traitor if you will. But, please lets save the country. The alternative to this treaty is a war which nobody in this gathering can even contemplate. If the price of freedom, if the price of peace, is the blackening of my name, I will gladly pay it. Thank you.

[Time passes and a vote is taken]

SECRETARY: The result ladies and gentlemen is 64-57, a majority of 7 in favor of the treaty.

DEVALERA: There is one thing I want to say. I want it to go to the country and to the world. And it is this: The Irish people established the Republic. It can only be disestablished by the Irish people. As a protest against the ratification of this treaty, which can only subvert the Republic. I, and my deputies, are going to leave this house.

[DeValera and his deputies walk out]

COLLINS: Dev! Traitors! Traitors all! [to Boland, as he walks out with them] Not you, Harry.


THE PASSING OF POWER & STUMPING FOR A REPUBLIC [scene runs 1:35:04 through 1:37:16] Track 35

[While the treaty is being considered by the Irish people, Collins takes over command of the military. This is the first time, since the failed Easter rebellion, that we see Collins in the uniform of a soldier. It is the first time he wears the uniform of a recognized, legal military force.]

OFFICER: You're seven minutes late Mr. Collins.

COLLINS: You kept us waiting 700 years. You can have your seven minutes. Right let's get this over with. [A soldier afar orders the company to present arms as the British flag is lowered] So that's what caused all the bother. Now what? Do I get to wear that hat?

[Scene cuts to De Valera addressing a large crowd against the treaty]

DE VALERA: This treaty bars the way to the Republic, with the blood of fellow Irishmen. If it is only with civil war that we can get our independence, then so be it. The Volunteers [soldiers fighting for independence] will have to wade through Irish blood… through the blood of some members of this government in order to get Irish freedom!

I WILL NOT FIGHT AGAINST MEN I FOUGHT WITH [scene runs 1:39:20 through 1:40:55] Track 37

[The Army has split, some following DeValera in the continued fight against the British, and some joining Collins in the legitimized Irish army. DeValera's followers have taken over another administrative building.]

COLLINS: Who gave you that, your little runt? What's al this about Roy?

ROY: We've taken over the Four Courts.

COLLINS: You f**** fool, you.

ROY: Mind your language.

COLLINS: Come on, lad, you want to start a civil war?

ROY: We will defend the Republic.

COLLINS: Forget about the Republic, these kids have never seen a gun before.

ROY: We know how to train them.

COLLINS: Oh, the way I trained ya? Where'd you get your orders from?

ROY: The Volunteer Executive.

COLLINS: Dev's part of it, huh? His half. Go home to your mothers, all of you!

[to Tom, at his side] You know what this means?

TOM: It's happened. The Army's split down the middle.


DIRTY WORK [scene runs 1:39:20 through 1:40:55] and [1:41:46 through 1:42:12] Track 37

COLLINS: I will not fight against men I trained with, I fought with.

MINISTER: The people have spoken, Mr. Collins, overwhelmingly, for the treaty you brought home.

GRIFFITH: They've occupied the Four Courts, half of O'Connell Street, Limerick, Cork. It's anarchy out there.

COLLINS: Better anarchy than civil war.

GRIFFITH: Churchill has offered us artillery.

COLLINS: Christ sake, let Churchill do his own dirty work.

GRIFFITH: Maybe he will, Michael, maybe he will.


MEETING IN CORK [scene runs side B 9:40 through 12:25] Track 6

[Collins ultimately fights against DeValera's troops, and with his military superiority retakes the occupied buildings. In the battles, Harry Boland is killed. DeValera and his soldiers are still a force.

Collins seeks a meeting with DeValera. And agrees to meet him in Cork. Collins arrives and has a drink with his men and the Cork locals. DeValera sends a young boy out to set up the meeting.]

DE VALERA: Is it him?

BOY: Looks like it.

COLLINS [singing]: Oh well do I remember the year forty-eight, when I rose with comrades brave and true. I was hunted through the hills by slaves who served a
foreign queen...and that' s another reason why I left old Skibereen.

[Outside the bar, Joe points a gun at the boy. Collins joins them]

COLLINS: Say it to me kid. Put it away, Joe.

BOY: Who the **** are you?

COLLINS: Who the **** am I? I'm the f***er that asked to meet Dev.

BOY: And who's Dev?

COLLINS: And who are you?

BOY: What if I did know this Dev? What would you have to say to him?

COLLINS: Tell him that Harry Boland's death was enough. Tell him Mick Collins
says he wants to stop this bloody mayhem. Tell him I'm sorry I didn't
bring back the Republic...but nobody could have. He was always my
chief, always. I would have followed him to hell if he asked. And maybe
I did. But it's not worth fighting for anymore. We got to learn to build
with what we love! You tell him that.

[DeValera, listening in, cries.]

[DeValera never meets with Collins, and the last we see of Collins, he is ambushed and shot on his way back to Dublin.]


Michael Collins Questions Guide to unit 5back to unit 5