Letter: How De Valera outwitted Collins

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The Independent Online
Sir: Brendan O'Neill says Neil Jordan, director of the film Michael Collins, has "rewritten Irish history". Such a reappraisal is long overdue.

If De Valera was the hero who stuck to his guns, how was it that he was able, only four years after Collins's death, to "ditch his principles" and take the oath of allegiance to the British Crown which enabled him to enter the Dail?

Towards the end of his long life, after many years as Taoiseach and later President, he said in private: "In the fullness of time history will record the greatness of Collins, and it will be recorded at my expense." But he never had the generosity of spirit to acknowledge publicly his debt to Collins, and the latter's role as a founding father of the Republic of Ireland.

CAROL PLACKETT

Newcastle upon Tyne

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