Michael Collins
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THE EARLY YEARS

On 16 October 1890 Michael Collins was born near Sam’s Cross, a tiny hamlet in West Cork, named after Sam Wallace, a local highwayman. Sam’s Cross lies between Rosscarbery and Clonakilty. Here, in a picturesque valley between river and sea, the young Michael grew up. As a lad, he spear-fished for salmon in the river and played among the cliffs above Black beach and at Cliodhna’s Rock. But, as was typical of the times, Michael never learned to swim.

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