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30-03-2010, 17:38   #1
 
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Michael Collins ambush cap badge for auction

There is another item of supreme Irish historical significance about to go under the hammer to the highest bidder. If today were april 1st I would well believe this was a joke!

This one seems to have solid provenance and I suspect it will go for considerably more than €3000.

I think it's about time a journalist looked into whether or not this or other recent items were first offered to the Govt - and if so which department /politician decided not to spend €3000 to secure it for the state. Given the recent expenses scandals and the staggering levels of waste if it transpires this FF/Green govt were offered this item at that price and refused it - then they should be brought down on that basis alone in my view


Gen Collins ambush badge for auction


http://www.herald.ie/national-news/g...n-2117229.html

By Alan O'Keeffe

Tuesday March 30 2010

THE badge on the cap believed to have been worn by Michael Collins when he was shot dead is being offered for sale.

The badge is believed to have fallen off his cap during the notorious ambush at Beal na mBlath, Co Cork, on August 22, 1922, in which General Collins was fatally wounded.

The cap badge is being auctioned next month by Mealy's Auctioneers in Castlecomer, Co Kilkenny.

The badge is accompanied by a handwritten note of authentication signed by Collins' personal friend General Sean Mac Eoin who later became Chief of Staff of the Irish Army.

Auctioneer George Mealy said: "The badge was kept in safe keeping over the years by Kathleen McKenna, who was private secretary to Collins."

The estimate for the badge in the auction scheduled for April 20 is €3,000.

The badge was reported to have been removed from the vehicle which Collins was using on that fateful day.

Collins, who was Director of Intelligence for the Irish Volunteers during the War of Independence, was aged just 31 when he was killed in the Civil War ambush in his native Cork by a group of anti-Treaty IRA men.

Collins was both Chairman of the Provisional Government and Commander-in-chief of the National Army after independence.

Up until 1919 at least, he was also President of the Irish Republican Brotherhood.

The badge is inscribed with the words "Oglaigh na hEireann".

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Last edited by Morlar; 30-03-2010 at 17:49.
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30-03-2010, 18:06   #2
 
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I'd say its the government that's trying to sell these things!
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30-03-2010, 18:10   #3
 
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I'd say its the government that's trying to sell these things!
I think if someone like say . . . .the minister for heritage were offered this and decided he'd prefer to spend that 3k on limo transfers instead then he deserves his head to be on a pike outside Dáil Éireann.
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30-03-2010, 18:33   #4
 
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Either I am completely missing the point but I would have though this comes under the heading of Heritage ?

I had a few mins to spare so went to the homepage of the minister for 'Enviroinment, Heritage & Local Govt' - go to the Heritage section

http://www.environ.ie/en/Heritage/

you are presented with the following publications :

"Heritage

The Department's remit includes built and natural heritage functions providing a wider, more holistic environmental mandate. "

The following reports are available to read ;

# Ntional Biodiversity Plan (pdf, 3,395 kb)
# A Guide to Protected Buildings (pdf, 27 kb)
# The Economic and Social Aspects of Biodiversity- Benefits and Costs of Biodiversity in Ireland (pdf, 6,915 kb)
# Monasterboice Conservation Study (pdf, 9,026 kb)
--

This is on the HERITAGE page. Not the bio-diversity page. Even when you eventually get palmed off from there to 'The Heritage Council'

Their homepage

http://www.heritagecouncil.ie/

displays a '2010 year of Biodiversity' graphic which takes up most the page. The HERITAGE Council ???

Eventually you find a 'museums & archive' section which mentions nothing of safeguarding items of National Cultural heritage. It does have a museums 'care of collection' section but that's about it. That entire site from the homepage of the minister for heritage to the heritage council is basically an taxpayer funded advert for a green agenda - nothing anywhere to do with National Cultural Heritage whatsoever.
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30-03-2010, 18:41   #5
 
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Well, from my long experience of dealing with the Heritage Council the cap badge is as good as gone to some private US collector. However, there is always the chance that Pat 'we don't need a National Transport Museum - protect my own bailiwick ' Wallace of the National Museum may fork out a few quid for this item - if the guide price is accurate.
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30-03-2010, 19:05   #6
 
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i remember reading , i think it was in "On The Arm Of Time" that after the ambush some locals went to have a look at the scene and picked up MCs cap and put part of his brain matter , that was on the ground ,in it and burried it nearby. dont know if the badge was on it and who can say that the story is true. a cap was displayed with the great coat he was wearing at the time he was shot but was removed because it was known not to be his .
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06-04-2010, 17:05   #7
 
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As an FYI I just heard back from the auctioneers who have told me that this item was not in fact offered to the state in advance of a public sale.
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06-04-2010, 20:24   #8
 
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Just had a look through the full auction catalogue here: http://www.mealys.com/ and there's enough interesting material to fit-out a small museum. I wonder how much of it will find its way into the National Museum?
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24-04-2010, 11:46   #9
 
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I see in today's Irish Times where the Michael Collins cap badge went for a mere €28,000 at Mealys against its pre-sale estimate of €2-3,000! I imagine it has gone to a private collector.
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/...268782367.html

Kevin Barry letters with recipients’ heirs

One of three letters written by Kevin Barry in Mountjoy on the night before his execution is to remain in the hands of the descendents of those who received it, writes Pamela Duncan.

The seller is a direct descendent of the family of the one of the recipients of the letter, while the new owner is also the son of one of the original recipients of the letter.

The letter, which was written by the 18-year-old Kevin Barry to his “pals” the night before he was hanged for his part in an IRA attack in which three British soldiers were killed, sold at auction yesterday for €105,000, almost six times the highest pre-sale estimate on the item.

The sale of the letter was the highlight of the annual “Independence Auction”, which is run jointly by Mealy’s auctioneers in Co Kilkenny and Adam’s in Dublin.

The archive of Kathleen Napoli McKenna, a personal adviser and secretary to Michael Collins, also received great interest. A bronze cap badge which Collins was wearing when he was shot at Béal na mBláth in 1922 fetched €28,000 against a pre-sale estimate of €2,000 to €3,000.
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24-04-2010, 11:53   #10
molders
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I'm surprised that no one has mentioned that the cap badge sold in Adams is a 1924 pattern one, i. e. Collins was dead at least 18 months before that pattern badge first appeared. Wonder if the buyer wants another one?
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24-04-2010, 12:04   #11
 
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Originally Posted by molders View Post
I'm surprised that no one has mentioned that the cap badge sold in Adams is a 1924 pattern one, i. e. Collins was dead at least 18 months before that pattern badge first appeared. Wonder if the buyer wants another one?
Very interesting but what exactly are you saying here? Was the cap badge sold at Adams/Mealys not the one Collins wore when he was shot? If you can prove that you should go public as somebody has been well had.
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24-04-2010, 17:14   #12
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Leave the badge's story aside for a moment and look at the badge itself. The one in Adams was the large officers pattern which didn't appear until 1924. In 1922 all ranks in the National Army wore the same pattern and size bronze cap badge.The National Army didn't appear in uniform till March 1922, Collins is killed in August 1922 and in my humble opinion its hard to believe that in the short period of time between those dates, Collins had a badge made for himself that was different to that worn by all around him. I'd be just about certain that the Adams badge was constructed after 1924. As to how it gets into that particular archive, even if it was made in 1924 its over 80 years old thats plently of time for someone over the years to get confused and the badges swopped. That said, its just my opinion, maybe it is Collins cap badge but would I spend €21,000 plus fees on that particular one, no way. Even the catalogue description is sketchy;

The Commander-in-Chief's Cap Badge
Collins (Michael)
An original Irish Army bronze Cap Badge with inscription 'Oglaigh na h'Eireann / FF, reputed to have been removed from General Michael Collins' vehicle at Cork Union Hospital on 23 August 1922, following the ambush at Beal na mBlath in which Collins died from gun shot wounds to the head.
* With a pencilled note of authentication signed by 'Sean' (Gen. Sean Mac Eoin, the 'Blacksmith of Ballinalee,' later Chief of Staff of the Irish Army, and a close associate of Collins.) Displayed in a glazed box.
Provenance:
The Kathleen Napoli Mc Kenna Archive. (1)
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24-04-2010, 17:54   #13
 
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I am no expert on the IRA etc of that period but I would think that there must be lashing of photographs of Collins wearing the cap with said badge? It is mighty hard to believe that anybody would shell out that sort of money without knowing a great deal about badges. How come you didn't go public before the sale?
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24-04-2010, 18:46   #14
 
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In fairness to molders/the auctioneers the information about the cap doesn't claim that its definitely the real deal, and tbh if someone would buy it without knowing for sure what they are looking at they have more money than sense imo. I personally don't have a clue about these badges but if I were to buy something like that I would definitely do some preliminary research before the sale.
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25-04-2010, 06:17   #15
walrusgumble
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Quote:
Originally Posted by molders View Post
Leave the badge's story aside for a moment and look at the badge itself. The one in Adams was the large officers pattern which didn't appear until 1924. In 1922 all ranks in the National Army wore the same pattern and size bronze cap badge.The National Army didn't appear in uniform till March 1922, Collins is killed in August 1922 and in my humble opinion its hard to believe that in the short period of time between those dates, Collins had a badge made for himself that was different to that worn by all around him. I'd be just about certain that the Adams badge was constructed after 1924. As to how it gets into that particular archive, even if it was made in 1924 its over 80 years old thats plently of time for someone over the years to get confused and the badges swopped. That said, its just my opinion, maybe it is Collins cap badge but would I spend €21,000 plus fees on that particular one, no way. Even the catalogue description is sketchy;

The Commander-in-Chief's Cap Badge
Collins (Michael)
An original Irish Army bronze Cap Badge with inscription 'Oglaigh na h'Eireann / FF, reputed to have been removed from General Michael Collins' vehicle at Cork Union Hospital on 23 August 1922, following the ambush at Beal na mBlath in which Collins died from gun shot wounds to the head.
* With a pencilled note of authentication signed by 'Sean' (Gen. Sean Mac Eoin, the 'Blacksmith of Ballinalee,' later Chief of Staff of the Irish Army, and a close associate of Collins.) Displayed in a glazed box.
Provenance:
The Kathleen Napoli Mc Kenna Archive. (1)
the coat that he wore on that day is in collins barracks, by jeybus, he was a big fella alright
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