John Merivale and Museum Manager Jamie Murphy as an umbrella owned by Michael Collins is donated to the Michael Collins Museum in Clonakilty. Photo: Dermot Sullivan.

The Big Fella-ella-ella

A Cork museum has just received a fascinating new artefact for its collection.

The elegant umbrella, received by the Michael Collins House Museum in Clonakilty, belonged to none other than the Big Fella himself, Michael Collins.

The silk mechanical umbrella is tightly wound and held in a telescopic faux wood cover that doubles as a walking cane.

Left behind following one of Collins’ visits to Devlin’s Pub on Parnell Street, Dublin, the useful memento has since been safeguarded by the Devlin family. A plaque was recently erected in the pub to mark its importance in Irish history as a crucial meeting point and safe house for Michael Collins and members of his ‘squad’.

Walking canes have become synonymous with Michael Collins with several different canes coming to prominence in recent years. This has prompted historians to suggest that Collins, though rarely photographed with a cane, may have used a cane as part ‘businessman about the town’ disguise.

Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Frank O’Flynn, said: “The story of Michael Collins is one that is well known, but artefacts such as the umbrella donated by the Merivale/Devlin family gives us a little more insight into the history of the revolutionary hero.”

Michael Collins House Museum opens Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm. For more information visit, follow on social media, or phone 023-8858676.