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Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow Lock of Michael Collins' hair to be auctioned next month

It is one of many items from the War of Independence going under the hammer at Bloomfield Auction House on March 15th

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Michael Collins (1890 - 1922)

Michael Collins (1890 - 1922)

Michael Collins (1890 - 1922)

A lock of Michael Collins’ hair is set to be auctioned in Belfast next month.

It is one of many items from the War of Independence going under the hammer at Bloomfield Auction House on March 15th.

Other pieces of history that are being auctioned include a walking stick that belonged to the Irish hero, a revolver he reputedly held while breaking Eamon De Valera out of Lincoln Prison in 1919, and documents from Collins’ close friend Emmet Dalton.

The documents include a detailed account of Collins’ death at Béal na Bláth in Co. Cork in 1922 and a photograph of the British intelligence agents who were later known as the Cairo Gang.

Bloomfield Auctions managing director Karl Bennett said that he expects significant interest in the auction, which will celebrate the centenary of the events of the War of Independence.

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A lock of Michael Collins’ hair alongside the words ‘General Michael Collins, a lock of his hair. Rest in Peace.’ (BloomfieldAuctions/PA)

A lock of Michael Collins’ hair alongside the words ‘General Michael Collins, a lock of his hair. Rest in Peace.’ (BloomfieldAuctions/PA)

A lock of Michael Collins’ hair alongside the words ‘General Michael Collins, a lock of his hair. Rest in Peace.’ (BloomfieldAuctions/PA)

 

Speaking about Emmet Dalton’s documents, Mr Bennett said: “They are Dalton’s own detailed personal account of the day that Michael Collins was shot … the detail in his writings is phenomenal.

“Most of us have probably seen the movie Michael Collins with Liam Neeson, that’s nothing in comparison with the detail that we have here, and the feelings of Emmet Dalton and others around him gives you a real insight into how Michael Collins was perceived by those across Ireland.”

He added that staff were extremely shocked to receive a phone call from vendors about the lock of Michael Collins’ hair.

“The first thing we ask, which is probably what most of the public will ask is, ‘How do you know it is Michael Collins’ hair? What is the provenance behind it?’

“It’s important that we’re confident about the provenance that we’re given, that we can stand over that and the vendors can,” he told the PA news agency.

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“But the lock of hair was given to Felix Cronin, he was married to Kitty Kiernan [Collins’ former fiancée] and it passed through the family to the current vendor.

“It’s on a little card with Erin go Bragh, and we’re confident that the paper, the handwriting all relates back to that period of time when Collins killed in 1922, 100 years ago this year.”

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