Although he was Commander-in-Chief of the army for only six weeks before his untimely death, some of the best remembered images are of him resplendent in his uniform. No More so than the well know Photograph of “The Big Fellow” Collins in Irish Army Uniform with Revolver, striding purposefully across the square of Portobello Barracks. A young boy with kilted costume and displaying a Tara broach walks behind him. The young boy is a14 year old runaway named Alphonsus Culliton virtually adopted by Michael Collins, and under age signed by Collins into the army, as the Irish Free State Army mascot. “Phonsie” Culliton, lived through the Civil War, surviving many ambushes, Michael Collins had also decreed that Phonsie was to be sent later to the Curragh to be educated. He eventually secured a job in the post-office, obtained through his many army connections. Unfortunately “Phonsie” has been airbrushed out of many later reproduction prints of the original rare photograph.
High Quality image from the Original glass plate courtesy of, (with Reproduction permission) the National Library of Ireland
Size 30cm x 20cm (12” x 8”)