Michael Collins remembered at Garrienderk

The quiet pastoral area of the Golden Vale at Garrienderk, just over the Limerick border from Charleville, achieved some notoriety last weekend as the local community celebrated the memory of General Michael Collins.
One hundred years ago, on 20th August 1922 during the Civil War, a photograph was taken of Michael Collins inspecting a crater created by an explosion which destroyed the bridge spanning the Cork/Dublin rail line that runs through the area.
Two days later Michael Collins was shot dead in an ambush at Béal na Bláth in West Cork. The last photograph of Collins was taken by local man Owen Hickey, and an account of this was related by Hickey’s grandson Owen Culhane to the huge crowd that lined both sides of the busy Chrleville/Kilmallock road on the approach to the bridge last weekend.
Historian John Flannery from Nenagh gave an outline of the life of Michael Collins, and the Chair of Cappamore/Kilmallock Municipal District Cllr. John Egan recalled the quest for reconciliation in the aftermath of the Civil War. To mark the occasion, a plaque was unveiled by Owen Culhane and Noreen Culhane, grandson and niece, respectively, of Owen Hickey.  The event was organised by the Garrienderk Community Development Association, led by chair Jim Pitman, Joe Power, Michael Murphy, Dermot Kelly, Ger Prendergast and Frank Sheahan.
The Association extends sincere thanks to the ladies’ committee who looked after the catering for the occasion, the many stewards and volunteers who helped with traffic management, and local Gardaí and Limerick County Council for their co-operation on the evening.
Jim Pitman was an excellent MC for the evening and other speakers were Tony Browne, Limerick, Michéal Casey and Maeve Murphy. Among the attendance were Ministers Patrick O’Donovan, TD, Niall Collins, TD, Kieran O’Donnell, Richard O’Donoghue TD, Cllrs. Brigid Teefy, P.J. Carey, Joanne Collins, Ml. Donegan, Martin Ryan, Eddie Ryan, Ger Mitchell and Ian Doyle.