Mick Collins in space

Mick in Space“It was 36 years ago today” as John Lennon never quite said, when the first manned craft touched down on the surface of the Moon. In light of this, we bring you some classic Blather…

“The next notable entry into the Hibernian Space Race was Michael ‘The Big Fella’ Collins (1890-1922), recently hyper-immortalised by actor Liam Neeson in one of those ‘talkie’ moving pictures by esteemed local director Neil Jordan. Collins was one of the military blackguards (as opposed to the Black and Tans) behind the events leading to the formation of the Irish Free State in 1921.
He subsequently served as Commander-in-Chief of the Irish army. Thanks to the negotiations between Eamon De Valera, Harry Boland and NASA, Michael Collins was the first Irishman in space, remaining in lunar orbit while his Apollo 11 colleagues Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong went walkabout on the moon.
Some commentators reckon that Collins didn’t survive the impact of the command module into the Pacific Ocean on July 24th 1969, while the majority accept that he met his end in BéalnaBláth (The Mouth of Flowers), near Bandon, West Cork, on August 22nd 1922. Discrepancies between many of the reports lead to suggestions from some quarters that the moon-landings were hoaxed by Sinn Féin – subject matter for a forthcoming tribunal in Dublin Castle.”
Click here to read more about Ancient Irish Astronauts

Chief Bottle Washer at Blather
Writer, photographer, environmental campaigner and "known troublemaker" Dave Walsh is the founder of Blather.net, described both as "possibly the most arrogant and depraved website to be found either side of the majestic Shannon River", and "the nicest website circulating in Ireland". Half Irishman, half-bicycle. He lives in southern Irish city of Barcelona.


  1. I had what I thought was a useful comment to offer but it “was denied for questionable content.” How can I find out what “questionable content” is or isn’t?

  2. not sure why that happened joe. it’s an automatic filter of some kind which is designed to stop spammers from bombing us. i’ll look into it.
    has that happened to anyone else?

  3. Every so often an ellipsis (….) gets caught by the spam filters – I just deleted it, and it should work fine now…

  4. This reminds me of the fine Jethro Tull song “For Michael Collins, Jeffrey and me”. It’s on their third (and best) album, “Benefit”, released in 1969 or 70. I and others wondered for years what the song was about, before I discovered that it was Michael Collins the astronaut. (Jeffrey is a character who crops up in several early Tull songs.) The memorable chorus goes: “I’m with you LEM, though it’s a shame that it had to be you. ..” LEM is the Lunar Exploration Module — the spacecraft that took Armstrong and Aldrin to the Moon’s surface while Collins stayed alone in orbit above, awaiting their return.

  5. The archived article linked to here reminds us of an old IRA action — the blowing up of Nelson’s Pillar. How many people know that one of the IRA men involved that night in March 1966 was the amazing Emmett Grogan? The same Emmett Grogan who was the main man in the Summer of Love in San Francisco 1967, who was instrumental in arranging the notorious Altamont concert, who was a close friend of Bob Dylan (“Street Legal” is dedicated to Emmett), who had been a streetwise punk in New York City, teenage junkie, master burglar, brilliant student, “exiled” in various parts of Europe during the 60s, cold-blooded murderer, street theatre activist, invisible leader, organizer, anarchist, junkie again, and again… It’s all detailed in his astonishing autobiography “Ringolevio” — an absolute must-read! Surely the most remarkable life of anyone in the 20th century, a life made short by his (apparent) suicide in 1978, aged 34. You can get another perspective on Grogan by reading the admirable autobiography of his friend Peter Coyote, “Sleeping Where I Fall”. Coyote, great film actor among other things, is still going strong. Some people can’t believe what Emmett claimed to have done, but I checked out some of it myself, and his Irish episode rings true. People confirmed to me that he was active in the IRA in 1966.

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