The Covid-19 pandemic gave Cork’s Imperial Hotel an opportunity to refurbish room 115 – where Michael Collins is known to have spent his last two new nights.
he hotel is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Irish revolutionary’s death with the unveiling of its newly refurbished ‘Michael Collins Suite’, which replicates the room’s 1922 decor.
On August 22, a century after his death, approximately 30 of Collins’ family will attend the unveiling of the suite and will be the first to sign the guest book located in the room.
The public will also be invited to view it before it can be booked for guests from August 24th, at the same price as the hotel’s junior suites.
The Imperial Hotel’s owner, Allen Flynn, said that having few guests during the pandemic gave him the opportunity to refurbish the famous Michael Collins room.
Before the renovation, it looked the same as all the other rooms in the hotel, but history buffs have often asked about it.
“The pandemic gave us an opportunity to look at the business and the business model… and we wanted to focus on the history of the hotel and the connection the hotel has with the people of Cork and with the 100th anniversary of Michael Collins’ death, again We thought this would be a way to celebrate what he had done and once again pay tribute to one of the most famous guests to have stayed at the hotel,” he said Irish Independent.
“We have been in touch with the family over the past few years because anyone related to Michael Collins, if they came back to Cork, would always have been a huge supporter of the hotel.
“As part of the 100th anniversary of his death, we reached out to them and told them that we would create and completely redecorate the suite, unlike any other bedroom in the hotel. A great deal would be done in the 1920’s style and we have tried to recreate the style of the furniture and fabrics.
It’s a very fitting tribute to Michael Collins
“So we spent quite a bit of time planning it and we’re very happy with what we came up with as a scheme. It’s a very fitting tribute to Michael Collins, I think the great man himself would be delighted.”
Mr Flynn said it was known that Collins stayed at the hotel regularly and that it was used as a military headquarters at the time.
“A number of American historians interested in Irish history would certainly have inquired about the room, many of them in particular being American academics,” he said.
The hotel owner added that public interest in Collins seems to have grown as the 100th anniversary of the Revolutionary War approaches.
“People are very aware that at the moment the 100th anniversary of the Revolutionary War is coming up, so there are definitely more calls to the hotel inquiring about it,” Mr Flynn said.
“Also, I think what’s happening with Brexit and the North has almost reignited people’s interest in learning more about history in terms of where we are after the war and where we are now.”
The hotel has also commissioned a Michael Collins painting by Mick O’Dea, which will be hung in the lobby and also unveiled at the centenary celebrations.
It remains in the lobby for the public
“It will remain in the lobby for the public as we like to consider him one of the most famous guests. We had many famous visitors including Charles Dickens and John F. Kennedy was off the front lines.
“The hotel has a great history, but Michael Collins would be one of our favorites – as a fitting tribute to him, the portrait will be kept in the lobby from now on.”
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/i-think-the-big-fella-would-be-happy-hotel-room-michael-collins-spent-last-two-nights-of-his-life-in-given-1920s-style-revamp-41901936.html “I think the Big Fella would be happy”: Hotel room Michael Collins spent the last two nights of his life in a renovated 1920s-style hotel room