As 2012 now moves towards its conclusion we are fast approaching the centenary of 1916 and the hugely significant period in Irish history between 1916 and 1922. For those interested in the study of that period a must-have book is Justin Nelson’s “Michael Collins - A Fitting Farewell.”
First published in July 2008 it was thought to have been out of print, only for Justin, a former photographer here in “The Nationalist”, to discover that a bundle still existed in the printers storeroom.
Because of his connections with the town and because over 200 copies of the original sold in Clonmel at its launch, Justin has the book on offer again for the Christmas market at the bargain price of just j20.
The book contains over 100 pages of amazing photographs of those troubled times including many iconic images of Collins himself. It follows in photographic chronology his all-too-short life through the 1916 Rising and the period afterwards up to his death in 1922 at Beal na Bláth. His state funeral with a cortege three miles long is covered in minute detail.
For locals there is also a special piece on “Clonmel’s Isolation” detailing a period in 1922 when the town was cut off for over eight weeks by the descent of the Irregulars on the town. All railway, telegraphic and telephonic service with Clonmel was lost and the business life of the town was seriously threatened.
Former Taoiseach Dr Garret FitzGerald in writing the foreword to the book said “The text is unashamedly partisan, for Justin Nelson is a huge admirer of Michael Collins - but the photographs speak for themselves.”
Need we say anymore? Perhaps not, other than it will be definitely be out of print very soon.