Michael Collins
€10 Silver Proof Coin 2012
REF : 2066
Commemorating the 90th Anniversary of the Death of An Irish Political Leader and Patriot
The Central Bank of Ireland is issuing collector coins to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the death of Irish political leader and patriot, Michael Collins. The Michael Collins proof coin both feature a portrait of Michael Collins by renowned Irish artist Thomas Ryan. The portrait itself has been accentuated by the delicate frosting that contrasts beautifully with the mirror-like background. The same Proof finish has been applied to the National side of the coin that traditionally depicts the 14 string Irish harp modelled on the ‘Brian Boru’ harp in Trinity College, Dublin. This harp has been used on Irish coins since 1928. Michael Collins is widely regarded as one of the greatest political leaders Ireland has ever seen. His assassination in 1922 denied the newly independent nation of a strong, passionate and inspirational leader. Born in Woodfield, Clonakilty, County Cork in 1890, Michael Collins was destined to become a prominent figure in the struggle for Irish independence. While working in London Collins developed a keen interest in Irish nationalist politics, joining the Gaelic League and the Irish Republican Brotherhood. He returned to Ireland and took part in the Easter Uprising for which he was jailed. Released at Christmas 1916, he immersed himself in politics and was elected Member of Parliament for South Cork in 1918. When Dáil Éireann was established in 1919 Collins was appointed Minister of Home Affairs and later Minister for Finance. He led the military campaign against the British that eventually led to a truce, peace talks and the establishment of the Irish Free State. He is remembered today as an Irish hero and visionary and it is fitting that on the 90th anniversary of his death, he is now commemorated on these beautiful limited issue coins. During the War of Independence Michael Collins played a pivotal role in co-ordinating the IRA’s military campaign and was a reluctant but decisive delegate during the Anglo-Irish Treaty negotiations in 1921. Collins signed the Treaty to establish the Irish Free State but the country was partitioned as six predominantly Unionist states in the North of Ireland remained part of the United Kingdom. Collins’ view was that this was only the first step towards obtaining a 32 county republic. He played an important part in devising a constitution, creating security forces and appointing a civil service for the provisional government of the Irish Free State. However, the signing of the Treaty had split the republican movement in two - those for the Treaty and those against. Collins, who was pro-Treaty, sought to avoid confrontation with his former comrades and urged restraint but it became evident that conflict and civil war was unavoidable. When war began Collins, as Commander-in-Chief of the Free State Army, devised astute military strategies that enabled the pro-Treaty troops to emerge victorious. Before its conclusion, however, Michael Collins was shot dead in an ambush in County Cork on 22nd August 1922, while on an inspection tour of Munster and searching for a basis for peace. The independence movement had lost one of its most charismatic and influential leaders. Thomas Ryan attended the Limerick School of Art, then the National College of Art in Dublin. He is well known for his Irish historical scenes, especially those of the 1916 Rising, and for his sensitive still-life paintings. He has exhibited at the Municipal Gallery of Modern Art in Dublin and was President of the RHA from 1982 to 1993. He has designed a number of significant Irish coins including the Irish £1 coin featuring a red deer, which was introduced in 1990 to replace the £1 note, the 1988 Dublin Millennium 50p coin, the 2008 gold and silver Antarctic explorer coins and the 2011 gold proof Celtic Cross coin. ‘Michael Collins is one of the favourite people in Irish history and has, by now, taken on the status of an Icon. This was anticipated by his opposite number, Eamon de Valera, who said – “It is my considered opinion that in the fullness of time history will record the greatness of Collins and it will be recorded at my expense”. If the actions of persons become legendary, the aspect of their identities becomes that of a popular image, it becomes an ‘Icon’ Thomas Ryan
Featured Product No
Quality Proof
Year 2012
Metal Sterling Silver
Coin Weight 28.28
Denomination 10
Fineness 0.925
Issue limit 8000
Designer Reverse Thomas Ryan