Elaine Byrne: FF and FG’s veneration of Collins is also an attack against a shared enemy

The Taoiseach and Tánaiste’s joint oration on Sunday is the first time in history that the leaders of the Civil War parties have come together to acknowledge Michael Collins’ legacy but another factor in their united stand is the electoral threat posed by Sinn Féin

Michael Collins has entered popular culture in a manner that no other Irish politician has managed to do. His death at just 31 has placed him forever in the pantheon of what might have been. Picture: Getty

“In the gloomy Pro Cathedral, a requiem mass for the soul of the dead General was celebrated by high church dignitaries,” reported the New York Times on August, 29, 1922.

“But even more moving than any of the high religious rites was one little human incident, so touching in its very simplicity. As the great congregation was bowed in prayer, a private soldier carrying in his hand a single white lily . . . reverently ...