Monday, June 8, 2015

Ireland Trip Part 15: Garvan the Dublin History Tour guide: Who is Michael Collins?

Tom, Garvan and Rob

This is Part 15 of our Ireland trip blog. We call this a "Dublin Walking History Tour with a fiery, fun, red-headed Irishman!" Garvan is the "Dublin Tour Guide" and a living history book!  He told us about the struggles of Ireland through history, the druids, the Gaelic language, abuse by the British through time, the great famine, mass exodus, and fight for independence.  This blog will focus on Michael Collins and Ireland's fight for Independence.
     You can book Garvan for 3 hour, 5 hour, 2 day tours or a pub crawl. We had the pleasure of his company for 5 hours and we highly recommend him! (

Michael Collins. Credit:

WHO WAS MICHAEL COLLINS? - You can't learn Irish history without learning about Michael Collins. He was many things, but one thing that stood out was that he was an Irish revolutionary leader that led Ireland to independence from British rule. (Ireland was under England's rule for centuries dating back to Tudor times).  Michael Collins was born on Oct 16, 1890 and was shot and killed in an ambush in August 1922 during the Irish Civil War.

WHAT IS EASTER RISING? - It's not a religious holiday- it's an Irish rebellion against the British to gain independence. The "Rising" was Collins' first appearance in national events and began on Easter Monday 1916.

Bad timing for the Dublin Post Office!
BAD TIMING FOR THE DUBLIN GENERAL POST OFFICE? - We walked into the post office and found a photo and write up about the Rising Headquarters in the Post Office. We learned that the post office had just finished being constructed and was opened for a month when the rebellion decided that it would be a good base to hold its operations. The Rising was basically a military disaster and as a result, the post office was left in ruins.

COLLINS SUCCEEDS - There's a lot of history behind Michael Collins, and way too lengthy to go into here (look it up). Just know that in his third attempt for Ireland's independence he succeeded. The Irish War of Independence started in January 1919. Sadly,  Collins was assassinated on his way to Cork. Many songs, books, and films were made about his life - honoring him.  In 1996, Collins was the subject of the film Michael Collins, with Liam Neeson in the title role.  He gave the people of Ireland their country back and became a hero.

Ireland (Green), No. Ireland/UK (Blue). Credit:

STEP 1:  THE IRISH FREE STATE:   The Irish Free State was established in 1922 as a "Dominion of the British Commonwealth of Nations under the Anglo-Irish Treaty." Northern Ireland didn't take part in that agreement, though because of the religious ultra-conservatives that lived there. Today, Northern Ireland is still part of the United Kingdom, under British rule.   

STEP 2: IRELAND REBORN IN 1937: The Free State came to an end in 1937, when the citizens voted to adopt their own constitution. It was under the new constitution the Irish state was named Ireland!


Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next