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(born Oct. 16, 1890, Clonakilty, County Cork, Ire.died Aug. 22, 1922, Beal-na-Blath, Cork) Irish national leader. He worked in London (1906–16), then returned to fight in the Easter Rising. Elected as a member of Sinn Féin to the Irish assembly (1918), he became the Irish republic's first minister of home affairs. He was general of the volunteers and director of intelligence of the Irish Republican Army in the Anglo-Irish War. In 1921 he signed the controversial Anglo-Irish Treaty, which gave Ireland dominion status, though with provisions for partition and for an oath of allegiance to the crown. He and Arthur Griffith then became leaders of the provisional government. When civil war broke out, Collins commanded the government forces fighting the anti-treaty republicans, and on Griffith's death he became head of the government. Ten days later he was killed in an ambush at age 31.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Collins, Michael, visit Britannica.com.
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