Michael Collins (The Big Fellow)

by Tracy Connolly

He was our Nelson Mandela
The father of Ireland’s Sons
He was a young rising Scholar
He excelled in his native tongue

Ireland was no country for young men
And opportunities for workers fell low
He sailed on the seas to London
Where he acquired new skills that would show

In a decade he would show great stance
He became the powerhouse of Ireland’s revolution
Where Hurling and football became a recruiting ground
And the IRB committed to an independent conclusion

He returned to Ireland ready for his mission
His campaign being a new kind of warfare
He was ruthless but efficient
He was the most wanted man in the empire

Collins made it his sworn mission
That he would achieve an Irish Republic
Putting the people of Ireland at the forefront
As if a prophesied democratic

He never knew when he was beaten
He always learnt from his mistakes
Everything for him was a learning experience
Sinn Féin’s University he’d embrace

He established an intelligent network
Like a blanket that covered Éire’s land
Locating safe houses and appointing messengers
He was a man more than grand

Welfare funds for Veterans and widows
Were some of the tasks he held close
Giving key positions to volunteers, IRB, Sinn Féin
A rising Irish star in that you’d take note

He showed bravery he showed leadership
He was a genius throughout his life
He was the man you’d look up to
And he wasn’t afraid to fight

A Soldier, a statesman, a diplomat
An intellect who was more than great
With only one burning ambition
To free this country and state

Reproduced with kind permission of the author. Tracy Connolly is a retired Veteran from the Defence Forces Army. This poem features in Connolly’s third collection Remedies Of Poetry