'I am full of hope and buoyancy, I want the English out of Ireland,' announced Micheal Collins on Christmas Eve

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'I am full of hope and buoyancy, I want the English out of Ireland,' announced Micheal Collins on Christmas Eve

The Irish delegation on the day that the treaty forming the Irish Free State and partitioning the country was signed, (from left) Arthur Griffith, Eamonn Duggan, Erskine Childers, Michael Collins, George Gavan Duffy, Robert Barton and John Chartres, on December 6, 1921.  (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

MICHAEL Collins has issued the following statement, the Echo reported on Christmas Eve 1921.

“I signed the Treaty and stand by it. I am not very concerned about oaths, but I am concerned about getting the English out of Ireland and having the chance of going ahead to rebuild the Irish nation. 

"I am full of hope and buoyancy, and although I am fully aware the Treaty does not mean full freedom, I state emphatically it does give freedom to show that the Irish people are capable of making their own national status secure and strong”.

Cork-Bandon Train Held Up

The Cork-Bandon train was held up this morning. It left Cork at 6.15am and reached Waterfall half an hour later, where men boarded and opened the mail bags, scattering the contents about, taking some items. It was quite dark and it is not known how many men were present. The IRA Liaison Officer has been informed and investigations are expected.

Seasonal Smokes in Jail

Lambkin Brothers, tobacco manufacturers, Patrick Street, have sent 3,000 cigarettes to the political prisoners in Cork Gaol.

The cigarettes have now been distributed and the thoughtful action at Christmas-time will be very much appreciated.

Proposed London Air Link

There is a prospect of London being linked up by air with Dublin and Belfast in the near future. Official support is being given to the scheme.

The journey takes between 10 and 12 hours by train and boat. By air the distance could be covered in three hours.

Troubled News in North

Belfast shipyard workers had a remarkable escape from a bomb attack last night. A deputation has since been formed to seek protection urgently.

Well-known Belfast publican, William Armstrong was attacked by four men and shot dead while entering his home. Details of the clash in the Tyrone mountains between Crown Forces and Volunteers have come to light.

It appears 15 men were imprisoned in Cranagh Hall when Crossley tenders full of RIC and Ulster Specials raided. The Volunteers with their prisoners made for the mountains amidst a fire-fight. Crown Forces claim they were attempting to release the prisoners but it is also believed they regarded Cranagh as a republican training camp.

Horses at Home in Blackpool

Happily, the dour Irish countryman is a rare specimen, and rarer still around the turkey season.

I have always regarded Blackpool as a place apart and distinct from the city. Patrick Street, Sunday’s Well, and Montenotte, are almost as far removed from Blackpool as is London.

A countryman ‘picks’ his steps and cautiously observes while passing Patrick Street - to him it is a strange land. But in Blackpool that countryman is a different being. Even the patient horse that stands in the mud and cold outside the hostelries seem to feel at home in Blackpool.

They have grown used to the sounds of revelry just beyond the footpath. Occasionally they catch snatches of the oratory of their owners when the glass door swings open to admit another reveller, and the tone at such times is so pleasantly different from what they usually hear from behind the plough that they learn to love the surroundings.

Turkey Seller at Christmas

“Are you sellin’ ’em?” asked a dealer. “Do you think I brought ‘em here to give ’em away?” replied the turkey-man.

“That wouldn’t surprise me aither - ’tis the custom of the season to make presents”.

“I know nothing about custom, and I know no-one who makes me presents,” he said.

“That’s because you don’t let people know your good points. How much for all nine chickens?”

“If ‘tis chickens you want,” he answered, “I can’t supply you”.

“Ah, you wouldn’t see people hungry on Christmas Day?”

“I would unless they paid enough for my turkeys”.

With a final “Happy Xmas”, the dealer passed on.

Two beshawelled women came along - “All sold, sir?”

“No, madam!”

“How much for the small one, sir?”

“There’s no small one, madam.”

“You wouldn’t call that a turkey, sure. I could get a hen up at Muskerry as big for half-a-crown.”

“Better get the hen, madam - these are turkeys.”

“You’re a hard man, ain’t it Christmas Eve, 5s for the small one?”

The turkey-man’s blood was up. “Keep your 5s till you meet a fool.”

“Look at dat for you now - no one would take you for a fool sir”. He threw a withering glance; his lips moved. “No”, put in the second woman, “nor even for a dacent ape”.

They went off merry, leaving him alone, a potential tiger moving uneasily in the midst of his Christmas turkeys.

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