Michael Collins, Irish Patriot

Essay by townsspecialCollege, UndergraduateA, September 2006

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Michael Collins was an Irish patriot. He accomplished the impossible by creating an Irish Free State. Collins spent his entire adult life fighting for freedom. He is remembered as the first urban guerrilla, then for laying the foundations of a state and negotiating its independence, was chairman of its Provisional Government, and then its commander in Chief of its armed forces when it was plunged into a civil war.

In 1909, Collins was sworn in as a member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood. He was given the position of Director of Organization, which was in charge of creating an intelligence network, organizing a national loan to fund a rebellion, creating an assassination squad and an arms smuggling operation. He perfected a system where he was able to spy on the spies who were spying on him even from England. He used inside informants in every section of Dublin Castle.

With his intelligence agency set up and working, Collins then set to work on his most effective tactic which was a group of assassins, a specially selected hit squad directly under Collins orders also named the "12 Apostles." This was the first time in Ireland's history that a secret assassination group was used. The 12 Apostles were very effective with their jobs and they removed almost all of the British Intelligence system known as the "G" division in Ireland.

Collins realized that the IRA would not be able to fight the British in the open rather he perfected modern guerrilla warfare. The British police force in Ireland was the Royal Irish Constabulary and they were spread throughout Ireland. To intimidate them the IRA used tactics of ambush, terror, and brutality against the police primarily, but also against Irish collaborators and the army. He studied the tactics of guerrillas and learned...