I've been doing a lot of research into the Easter Rising, Irish War for Independence, Civil War, etc, and I still have a LOT to learn, but this is one thing that always troubled me.
So, I know that the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising were generally hated by the public until their executions in their own land by a foreign power, and I feel like the same applied for Collins in 1922 after his execution by his own countrymen. He definitely gained a lot of support from Irish Republicans after Bloody Sunday, his 12 Apostles, giving financial support to the families of fallen rebels, etc., but I know he also made many many enemies both overseas and in Ireland for the same things.
I understand the hatred people had for him and the free-staters after the signing of the treaty in 1922 to let England keep control of the northern counties. Collins was definitely more of a militant leader and didn't mind taking the fight directly to the English, but he seemed to know that the treaty was a necessity to an eventual free Ireland. Meanwhile, De Valera seemed to be less about action, but refused to accept any sort of treaty. This probably made it a very hard decision because putting Collins in charge of the Provisional Government could only further intensify the tension between the two countries: England hated by many Irishmen because of centuries of oppression, and Collins hated by England because the new 'leader' personally gave orders to have dozens of British Soldiers and spies executed and led a military revolt against them. But overall, Collins seemed to go down in history as a hero and martyr to the Irish Republic, whereas De Valera sort of just drifted in and out
Could Michael Collins have gone on to lead the Irish Republic and eventually achieve full Irish Independence through his own methods? Or was his execution needed to put a less militant leader in power and promote future peace talks between the two Nations?
If I messed anything up here or if I'm missing something, please correct me. It seems like a century of history was jammed into one decade, so I'm almost positive I've misread or misinterpreted something along the way. Thank you!
Source: reddit post