Foxford Woolen Mills gifted General Michael Collins a special rug which was with him when he was killed.

Former Minister Nora Owen, a grandniece of Michael Collins, one of the founders of the State, spoke at a special function in Foxford Woolen Mills yesterday evening.

The evening was organised to mark the 100th anniversary of the presentation of a woolen travel blanket by the Mills to General Collins in July 1922 on his appointment as Commander in Chief of the newly established Irish Army.

Less than a month later, General Collins was dead, killed in an ambush by a force of Republicans at Beal na Mblath in his native Cork.

The blanket was in Collins’s armoured car at the time of the ambush and accompanied his remains to Shankiel Hospital in Cork where it was recovered by a caring nurse, Nora O’Donoghue.

The blanket was later donated to the National Museum.

Foxford Woolen Mills have reproduced the blanket in conjunction with the Michael Collins House in Clonakilty, Co. Cork.

Nora Owen is a former Minister for Justice. She was presented with one of the commemorative rugs at last evening’s function.

Speakers included Tracey Smith, Marketing Manager at the Mills, Mrs. Owen, Jamie Murphy of the Michael Collins Museum in Cork, Sr. Collette of the Sisters of Charity and two local public representatives, Councillors Gerry Coyle and Neil Cruise.

In her address, Mrs. Owen spoke eloquently about her late granduncle stressing that only was he a military and political figure but also had business acumen with a strong vision for the business visions for the development of the nation, post Treaty.

“He was CEO, chief executive of Ireland”, Mrs. Owen stated.

The attendance last evening included a presentation to Colonel Caimhin Keogh, on behalf of the Defence Forces Chief of Staff, Lt General Sean Clancy.

Marketing manager at Foxford Woolen Mills Tracey Smith spoke to our News Editor Teresa O’Malley at last night’s event.

 

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