John Bowman interviews Irish military leader Lieutenant General Michael Joseph Costello.

Michael Joseph Costello took part in the War of Independence of 1919-1921 and fought in the Civil War of 1922-1923. He explains why he took the Treaty side and swore an oath of allegiance to Dáil Éireann.

Costello only met Michael Collins twice but on both occasions he says Collins had a tremendous magnetic effect on him, his very presence in the room was electric.

The thing I remember most particularly about him was his capacity to extract information from all people he was talking to and cross examining.

Michael Collins promoted Costello to Intelligence Officer of the Third Southern Command when he was just 18 years old. In 1924, at the age of 20, Costello was promoted to the position of Director of Intelligence of the Free State Army. He is modest about this achievement saying a lot of very young people at time held positions of great importance.

This episode of ‘Talking To John Bowman’ was broadcast on 9 December 1980.