The Day Michael Collins Was Shot

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Meda Ryan attempts to tackle a very difficult task: determining who shot Michael Collins on that ill-fated day in 1922. In the book's preface, Ryan shares her reasons for wanting to examine the topic and her research methods in compiling the book. In Part I of the introduction, Ryan provides a short biography of Collins's life from his birth to June 1922. In Part II, she covers the last two months of Collins's life and the marrow of the book begins. Ryan supplies several great pictures and several maps of Béal na mBláth. Her evidence consists of eye-witness accounts, letters, telephone conversations and newspaper clippings.
Ryan takes us on a rollercoaster of facts and emotions as the story progresses. The basic theories she tackles are: Collins was hit from behind by IRA members headed to Kerry, Collins was hit by a member of his own party by a close range bullet from the armoured car, Collins was hit by a ricocheted bullet, and Collins was hit by a bullet fired by an IRA member. After dissecting the response of the medical examiners, the embalmer, the men who supposedly buried the cap Collins was wearing on the day he was killed, and the testimony of Emmet Dalton, Collins's friend and comrade who was with him that day, Ryan does give a firm conclusion as to who the shooter was. She dispels the theories that Collins was shot by a bullet from a Mauser pistol and that Collins was killed by a ricocheted bullet. So who shot Michael Collins according to Ryan's studies? Read this engrossing book to find out!
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