Letters exchanged between General Michael Collins and Kitty Kiernan have gone on public display at an exhibition 'Dearest Kitty' in Cork City Museum.
The letters document the growing love affair between Collins and Kiernan. They were written between 1919 and 1922 and cover the period when Michael Collins was in London during the Treaty negotiations and during the Civil War period.
Former Fine Gael TD Peter Barry purchased the letters at auction in Dublin for £45,000. He sent the collection to Marsh's Library in Dublin, to be catalogued and to ensure the letters would be intact for future generations. They were then loaned to Cork City Museum as part of the temporary exhibition 'Dearest Kitty'. Mr Barry handed the letters over to the State in 2000 and they are held by Cork Public Museum at Fitzgerald Park.
The letters were published in book form by Leon O'Broin entitled 'In Great Haste'.
General Michael Collins, the Irish revolutionary leader and Chairman of the Provisional Government, was killed in action at the age of 31 near Béal na Bláth, County Cork, on 22 August 1922. Collin's fiancee Kitty Kiernan married Felix Cronin after Collins' death and died in 1945.
An RTÉ News report by Tom MacSweeney broadcast on 8 August 1996.