Cold case re-examined 100 years later

“Cold Case Collins” will air later this month on RTÉ One as part of RTÉ’s television, radio, and online programming that will mark the 100th anniversary of the death of Michael Collins.

In “Cold Case Collins,” former State Pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy asks difficult questions and uses contemporary scientific analysis to “re-open” the cold case of Michael Collins’s assassination.

The television docu-drama, which was first announced last year, will air on RTÉ  One in Ireland on Wednesday, August 24 at 9:35 pm, part of the Irish national broadcaster’s lineup to mark the 100th anniversary of the death of Collins.

RTE has announced its programming to mark the 100th anniversary of the death of Michael Collins across television, radio & online. Read about the programme, which includes the documentary Cold Case Collins with Professor Marie Cassidy, in full here: https://t.co/iSx9GeE90K pic.twitter.com/RIxhOidnOD


— RTÉ Media Sales (@RTEMediasales) August 8, 2022

The killing of Michael Collins is one of the most contested events in Irish history, igniting acrimonious arguments that have endured ever since, RTÉ says.

In this formatted one-off, “Cold Case Collins” imagines the investigation that never happened, with an interrogation room set to uncover what happened in Béal na Bláth on August 22nd, 1922.

The former State Pathologist, Professor Marie Cassidy chairs a 21st-century cold case comprising forensic scientists, criminal investigators, military strategists, archaeologists, archivists, and historians.

Viewers can “eavesdrop” on the experts as they sift and filter through the evidence old and new, looking for answers to the questions that have ignited bar brawls for decades.

Elsewhere, on August 17, RTÉ One Television’s “Nationwide” will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the death of Michael Collins who, despite dying at the age of 32, helped alter the course of modern Irish history. Donal Byrne looks at Collins’s early life and influences and hears how he became a master political strategist and organiser.

On Friday, August 19, RTÉ Radio 1’s Morning Ireland will broadcast from the Munster Arms Hotel in Bandon, Co Cork, formerly Lee’s Hotel, where Michael Collins was photographed alive for the last time, 30 minutes before he was killed in the ambush at Béal na Bláth. This special Morning Ireland will have an extended broadcast on the RTÉ digital news channel.

Later, on Monday, August 22, the anniversary of the assassination of Collins, “Nationwide” marks another pivotal date in Irish history: the 100th anniversary of An Garda Síochána. Born out of revolution and war, An Garda Síochána has evolved from being a force that, for many years, dealt with little very serious crime to an organisation that has had to adjust to dealing with organised crime and the complexities of modern Irish life. 

Online, RTE.ie/history will continue to host a wide range of content relevant to this period. One of the most significant upcoming sections will feature the death of Michael Collins replete with interactive maps that trace the story of Collins’s last journey and assassination. This project is the product of a partnership between RTÉ History, the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media and The Atlas of the Irish Revolution edited by John Crowley, Donal Ó Drisceoil, Mike Murphy, and John Borgonovo and published by the Cork University Press. A spread of essays, written by expert historians from Ireland and elsewhere, have long provided readers with accessible resources.

A catalogue of history-based drama and documentaries is available on RTÉ Player. Among the catalogue are the award-winning Bloody Sunday, 1920, The Irish Revolution, and 74 Days: The Hunger Strike of Terence MacSwiney. All future Decade of Centenaries programming will also be available live and on-demand on RTÉ Player.

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