Content in this post may be upsetting to some people.
Today (Monday, August 22) is the day exactly 100 years ago when Irish rebel leader, Michael Collins, was killed in an ambush near Béal na Bláth in his native county, a single bullet penetrating deep inside his brain. It is believed he died instantly.
Strangely, he was the only person killed or injured on that particular afternoon in a serene, bucolic wooded hillside on the bend of a countryside road in rural Cork.
Stranger still, especially considering Collins was the most popular and well-known person in Ireland at that time and probably could have been the new Republic of Ireland’s first-ever official President, no proper postmortem was ever conducted on his body.
And the armored car he was travelling in on that fateful day was taken out of Ireland within weeks, then transported as far away as possible, all the way to Africa, to British-held Kenya.
And isn’t it too coincidental that sworn enemies of Collins including Eamon De Valera, Erskine Childers, Liam Lynch and other anti-Treatyite leaders were all gathered together just a few short miles from the very spot where Collins was killed?
Bewildering mystery still surrounds this entire tragic incident, one that led to the transformation of Irish society with the Catholic Church being given almost complete control and oversight of the nation, including its all-important health and education systems by Eamon De Valera, a man bitterly jealous of the respectful moniker the charismatic Collins had earned among most people at the time in Ireland – The Big Fella.
With all this in mind, I spent much of the last three weeks, including an exhausting marathon 21-hour writing session this past weekend – completing my fictional version, based in part on verified historical facts, as to who planned, plotted and assassinated Michael Collins. And what they had to gain from such a dastardly act.
As part of the research for my book, I also travelled from Donegal to Béal na Bláth to see the site of the ambush and also held discussions with officials at the Michael Collins House Museum in nearby Clonakilty.
The result of all my efforts is ‘Driver’s Diary – Death At The Mouth Of Flowers.’
Some people may find various scenes in my book morally upsetting. Not by their graphic nature, but because they deal with sensitive social taboos such as homosexuality and clerical deceit, hypocrisy and worse which still unfortunately have not gained widespread acceptance in some places.
Some readers may also find the climax of my book – whilst credible and based on existing background evidence – too shocking to contemplate.
To encourage healthy open public debate on an event that created such long-lasting effects on an entire nation and before being published as a book available on various platforms for sale, I am making ‘Driver’s Diary – Death At The Mouth Of Flowers’ available free online until the end of this week, midnight Sunday, August 28.
Regardless of whether you agree with my conclusions or not, I truly hope you enjoy my story, one written with the best of literary intentions.