The Imperial Hotel has transformed room 115 to honor a very important former guest
The room where Michael Collins spent his last night on Earth before his death in an ambush at Béal na Bláth in West Cork has been renovated and renamed in his honour.
Collins, an iconic figure in Irish history and one of Cork’s most famous sons, was a regular guest at the Imperial Hotel on the South Mall and poignantly spent the last two nights of his life there, as it was used as a military headquarters at the time.
The West Cork native left the Imperial Hotel at 6.15am on Tuesday August 22, 1922 via Pembroke Street where the main entrance was at that time.
Traveling with Emmet Dalton in a yellow Leyland Thomas Straight Eight touring car, with a small military convoy, they headed for Macroom, Crookstown, Bandon, Clonakilty and Skibbereen. The convoy was ambushed by anti-Treaty forces at Béal na Bláth just before sunset, at 7:30 p.m., where Collins was fatally wounded.
Collins’ body was taken back to the Imperial Hotel where he was examined by a military doctor and officially declared dead, aged just 31.
One hundred years later, members of the Collins family will stay at the same hotel and participate in commemorative events including documentary screenings, the unveiling of a new portrait of Michael Collins in the hotel lobby and the inauguration of a new “Michael Collins Suite” in the former room 115, revamped in a vintage 1920’s style.
“While the rooms throughout the hotel have a modern white door and frame, the former room 115 will now stand out from the crowd with a striking mahogany door and frame and a brass nameplate reading ” Michael Collins Suite”.” a hotel spokesman told Yay Cork.
“The bedroom’s interior style will include green hues in upholstery, an impressive mahogany four-poster bed, elegant wooden flooring and period furniture. The suite, which will feature a bust of Collins on the office, will be left vacant with a rope and a black ribbon on centenary day as a mark of respect.
Michael Collins Lecture in partnership with Cork City Library
On centenary evening there will be a historic lecture given in partnership with the Cork City Library by Pól O’Murchú, a great-nephew of Michael Collins. The talk, titled “Michael Collins Himself”, will focus on Collins the man rather than Collins the politician and will take place in Lafayettes at the Imperial Hotel at 6.30pm on Monday August 22. register here for a seat.