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The Big Fellow by Gerry Shannon and Steve Payne

Author says: what if Michael Collins had survived the assassination attempt, changed Ireland forever and achieved mythical status?. Please note that the opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s).

In 1996,

Neil Jordan's epic movie "Michael Collins" premiered on this day. In an Oscar-winning performance, actor Kevin Costner played the role of one of Ireland's most revered historical figures.

Collins, also known as "the Big Fellow" was at the forefront in the fight for independence from Britain in the years 1919 - 1921, and would go on to play a leading role in the subsequent Irish Free State over the next five decades. The film covers much of the pivotal events in Collins' life over the course of three hours, including the War of Independence, his friendship with the first Irish Taoiseach, Arthur Griffith, and Collins' near-death as a result of an assassination attempt in his native Cork during the Civil War. Collins would eventually recover and be part of several cabinets in several governments led by the Fine Gael party.

The second half of the film deals with two of Collins' main achievements as Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) from 1937 - 54, and it's President from 1955 - 64.

1) Uncovering the existence of several child abuse scandals in the Roman Catholic Church, shocking the Western world and damaging the institution's grip on Irish society for the better and

2) Building strong social and economic relations with the Unionist government of the partioned Northern Ireland state, which text before the credits reveals ultimately paved the way for reunification of the country in 1969.

Though Jordon is criticized for embelishing several legends and myths surrounding the man who virtually created the Irish Free State, (particularly the suggestion Collins personally oversaw the execution of Irish republican Eamon De Valera in 1922), there is consensus the director had great foresight that Coster who had previously starred in "Robin Hood:Prince of Thieves", was the man to portray this catalyst of the Irish nation's history, this Irish Lawrence of Arabia, even it's Lincoln...

Author says to view guest historian's comments on this post please visit the Today in Alternate History web site.

Other Contemporary Stories

Crying Wolf Versailles Declaration Galaxy of Free States

Gerry Shannon and Steve Payne

Guest Historians on Today in Alternate History, a Daily Updating Blog of Important Events In History That Never Occurred Today. Follow us on Facebook, Myspace and Twitter.

Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Possibilities such as America becoming a Marxist superpower, aliens influencing human history in the 18th century and Teddy Roosevelt winning his 3rd term as president abound in this interesting fictional blog.


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