Even 90 years after his death Michael Collins remains a pivotal part of this city’s life. A life-size photograph of him graces the window of the Irish Times on Tara Street, and you see photographs and paintings of him in shops and pubs around town.
Visitors may wonder why this revolutionary-cum-politician continues to exert such a grasp on Dublin and its inhabitants. There are two reasons: 1) Unlike almost every other Irish revolutionary, he was successful; and 2) He was one of their own, a “Jackeen” by adoption, a Cork man who knew every back alley and pub in “durty ould Dublin,” as the locals often call it. In their time of European Union austerity, the Irish see an icon — albeit a dead one — they can still believe in.