Winston Churchill on Michael Collins.
On the last occasion the two men met (recounted in The World Crisis' by Churchill) he quotes Collins as saying "I shall not last long; my life is forfeit, but I shall do my best. After I am gone it will be easier for others."
He described Collins thus:
"He was an Irish patriot, true and fearless... When in future times the Irish Free State is not only prosperous and happy, but an active and annealing force... regard will be paid by widening circles to his life and to his death...
"Successor to a sinister inheritance, reared among "fierce conditions and moving through ferocious times, he supplied those qualities of action and personality with-out which the foundations of Irish nationhood would not have been re-established." - Churchill ends his chapters on Ireland by quoting Grattan:
"The Channel forbids union, the Ocean forbids separation."
He concluded, "Two ancient races, founders in great measure of the British Empire and the United States, intermingled in a thousand ways across the world, and with the old cause of quarrel ended, must gradually try to help and not to harm each other.
"It may well be that a reward is appointed for all and that an Ireland reconciled within itself and to Great Britain will on some high occasion claim to guide the onward march and offer to the British Empire and perhaps to the English-speaking world solutions for our problems otherwise beyond our reach."
Generous words from an Englishman, written in 1929, who knew all of Collins' activities from recent contact.