South Tipperary Fine Gael T.D. Tom Hayes has secured the illustrious ‘Sliabh na mBan’ armoured Rolls Royce for the upcoming Clonmel Vintage & Classic Motor Show taking place on Sunday, May 6. Deputy Hayes worked with the Defence Forces on the matter following requests from the Secretary of the Clonmel Vintage & Classic Car Club, and local Clonmel based Councillor, Michael Murphy. The vehicle is well known as one that formed part of Michael Collins’s convoy which was ambushed on August 22, 1922 at Beal na Bláth in West Cork.
“It’s a real honour for the Clonmel Motor Show to have ‘Sliabh na mBan’ present at this year’s event. The Defence Forces are understandably very protective of this artefact and as such rarely grant permission for it to appear at these sorts of public events.
“Sliabh na mBan occupies a special place in Irish military history and in the history of the Irish Defence Forces in particular. This car has seen service through three wars with three different armies and serves to illustrate a proud military tradition which is upheld to this day.
The 91-year-old vehicle formed part of Collins’s convoy which was ambushed after venturing into anti-Treaty heartland during the Civil War. Collins, then commander-in-chief of the National Army, returned fire. After Collins received a bullet wound to the head, his body was taken into the vehicle and the convoy escaped with no further casualties.
“Having been present at the assassination of one of Ireland’s leading patriots, this car has solidified its place in Irish history. It can only be described as a silent witness to the tragic and often violent events that took place during the turbulent foundation of this State. I have no doubt that the people of Clonmel and the people of Tipperary will turn out in huge numbers next Sunday to see this treasure for themselves” concluded Tom Hayes.
The Clonmel Vintage and Classic Motor Show takes place on Sunday in Powerstown Park, Clonmel.