Michael Collins

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Collins, Michael,

1890–1922, Irish revolutionary leader. He spent the years from 1907 to 1916 in England, during which period he joined the Fenian movementFenian movement
or Fenians,
secret revolutionary society organized c.1858 in Ireland and the United States to achieve Irish independence from England by force.
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. He took part in the Easter Rebellion in Dublin in 1916 and was imprisoned for the rest of the year. One of the Sinn FéinSinn Féin
[Irish,=we, ourselves], Irish nationalist movement. It had its roots in the Irish cultural revival at the end of the 19th cent. and the growing nationalist disenchantment with the constitutional Home Rule movement.
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 members who set up the Dáil ÉireannDáil Éireann
[Irish,=diet of Ireland], the popular representative body of the Oireachtas, or National Parliament, of the Republic of Ireland. The second, smaller chamber, the Saenad Éireann, or Senate, has very limited powers, and the executive, as
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 in 1919, he led the Irish Republican ArmyIrish Republican Army
(IRA), nationalist organization devoted to the integration of Ireland as a complete and independent unit. Organized by Michael Collins from remnants of rebel units dispersed after the Easter Rebellion in 1916 (see Ireland), it was composed of the more
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 in the guerrilla campaign against British rule that eventually forced the British government to sue for a truce. Although a convinced republican, Collins, with Arthur GriffithGriffith, Arthur,
1872–1922, Irish statesman, founder of Sinn Féin. He joined the nationalist movement as a young man. In 1899 he founded the United Irishman,
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, negotiated and signed the treaty (1921) that set up the Irish Free State (see IrelandIreland, Republic of,
Gaelic, Eire, republic (2015 est. pop. 4,700,000), 27,136 sq mi (70,282 sq km). It occupies all but the northeastern corner of the island of Ireland in the British Isles. (For physical geography and history to 1922, see Ireland.
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) because he felt it the best settlement with England possible at that time. He was finance minister in Griffith's government for a brief time before being assassinated by extremist republicans.


See biographies by F. O'Connor (1937), E. Neeson (1968), M. Forester (1971), T. P. Coogan (1990), T. R. Dwyer (1990), and P. Hart (2006).

Collins, Michael


Born Oct. 16, 1890, near Clonakilty, County Cork; died Aug. 22, 1922, in Beal-na-Blath. Irish politician and statesman. The son of a farmer.

Collins participated in the Irish rebellion of 1916. In 1918 he became a member of the Irish parliament. He was minister of finance in the revolutionary government of the Sinn Fein from 1919 to 1922. As a plenipotentiary of the Irish delegation, he signed the Anglo-Irish treaty of 1921 that gave Ireland the status of a dominion with Northern Ireland remaining under British rule. In 1922 he became chairman of the provisional government. Collins organized the armed struggle against leftist republican forces.

Collins, Michael


Born Oct. 31, 1930, in Rome, Italy. US pilot and astronaut, lieutenant colonel in the air force.

In 1952, Collins graduated from the United States Military Academy. He served as a test pilot at Edwards Air Force Base. In 1963 he became one of the astronauts of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. He was J. Young’s copilot on the space flight of July 18–21, 1966, in Gemini 10. During the flight Collins made two space walks. During a link-up with an Agena 8 target rocket, he removed a device for studying micrometeorites from it. On July 16–24, 1969, as pilot of the command module of the Apollo 11 spaceship, he participated in the historic flight during which N. Armstrong and E. Aldrin first walked on the surface of the moon on July 21, 1969. From July 19 to July 22 he was in various lunar orbits (30 in all) totaling 59 hrs, 27 mins, 55 sees, maintaining communications between the earth and the astronauts on the moon; he helped guide the separation and docking of the lunar module with N. Armstrong and E. Aldrin aboard. A crater on the far side of the moon is named for Collins.

Collins, Michael

(1930–  ) astronaut, museum director; born in Rome, Italy. As an astronaut he performed two space walks on the Gemini 10 mission (1966) and piloted the Apollo 11 command module, which circled the moon as the first manned vehicle landed there. Director of the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum (1971–78), and vice-president of LTV Aerospace and Defense Co. (1980–85), he founded his own firm (1985). He authored Carrying the Fire (1974), an account of his experiences in the space program.