Kitty Kiernan


    Most people recognize Kitty Kiernan as Michael Collins' fiancee. Because there is much more than that to know about Kitty, I have decided to present a (regrettably small) subsection on her life. In Michael Collins and the Making of the Irish State, Margot Gearty presents an article entitled, "Michael Collins: The Granard Connection."


Regarding Kitty's family:


"Having lost their first baby girl at birth in December, 1887 Bridget gave birth the following year to twin girls Lily and Rose. After them came Christine, Lawrence Dawson, Catherine, Helen and Maud in quick succession. The family remembered nothing but happiness from the years that followed. They were part of a lively, busy ménage, comfortably off with a solid base and loving parents. Twenty years later Kitty (Catherine) would write to her ‘very dear Micheál’: ‘I’d love to feel you wanted me always beside you just the way Daddy and Mother used to be.’"


Regarding Kitty's personality and environment:


"No wonder Mick Collins responded with interest to the energy emanating from this household of young people. On the one hand they were hard-working, serious and I believe had a strong spiritual sense. On the other hand they were fun-loving, quick-witted and had a keen sense of humour."


Regarding the effect of Michael's death on Kitty:


"The awesome tragedy of Collins’ death at Béal na mBlath on 22 August 1922 was the final grief for Kitty, her devastation total. Instead of the planned double wedding—Maud married Gearoid (O’Sullivan) in October—Kitty sat by her sister dressed in black from head to foot." (The original double wedding date had been set for October 19, 1922.)


To learn more about Kitty Kiernan, read In Great Haste by Leon O'Broin and/or Michael Collins and the Women in His Life by Meda Ryan.