The life and legacy of Michael Collins is considered the ‘heart and soul’ of Sam’s Cross in Co Cork.
Today marks the 100th anniversary of the death of the Free State’s military commander in an ambush in Béal na Bláth.
It also marks the end of a week of celebrations to commemorate the centenary of his death.
Sam’s Cross pub owner Peter Keohane said the community has a strong, “passionate” bond with Collins.
Mr Keohane said his mother, Joan McCarthy, has a “direct relationship” with Michael Collins.
The pub is steeped in history and is just around the corner from Collins’ birthplace in Woodfield.
The Four Alls, known as ‘The Big Fella’s local’, will toast the Irish revolutionary at 6.15pm on Monday when he leaves the pub for the last time.
“It’s absolutely fantastic in terms of business, tourism and everything because at the end of the day his home is just a few hundred yards behind the pub,” said Mr Keohane.
“There’s a memorial dedicated to him just across from the pub, it really is the heart and soul of the place, our little community there.”
Mr Keohane expects a large crowd to gather at the pub on Monday night for a toast, followed by a wreath-laying ceremony at the Collins memorial at 10pm.
“It’s an approximate time, it was somewhere between 6pm and 6:30pm, so we’re leaving at 6:15pm when he left Sam’s Cross for the last time,” he said.
Mr Keohane said there was some dispute over the contents of his last pint before his death: “We know what he was drinking but there is a small dispute as to whether it was Clonakilty wrestler but he is said to have had a cold at the time have had. Someone said he had whiskey and a bottle of stout.”
“The last two weeks it’s been phenomenal, the amount of people, it’s scary. I actually had a Polish family and their son is studying Irish history and he shamed me with what he knew about Michael Collins.
“And I’ve been in the pub for 11 years and the detail people go into is amazing. I was amazed, I suppose at the end of the day the man for Ireland’s freedom lived and died.
“I think it’s a big thing for the country to celebrate your work and your life because the basic question for everyone is, ‘What if he had lived?’ What would have happened in Ireland?”
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/views-differ-on-michael-collinss-last-drink-in-pub-was-it-a-clonakilty-wrestler-or-did-he-have-a-whiskey-and-stout-41927319.html Opinions are divided on Michael Collins’ last drink in the pub: Was it a Clonakilty wrestler or did he have a whiskey and a stout?