Michael Collins (1996) Script

You've got to think of him the way he was.

The way he'd cycle around Dublin in his pin-striped suit, with £10,000 on his head.

"Why hide, Joe," he'd say, "when that's what they expect?"

But he never did what anyone expected.

He got the British out of here, and no one expected that.

Some people are what the times demand, and life without them seems impossible.

But he's dead.

And life is possible.

He made it possible.







MAN: Cease firing!

Cease firing!

Cease firing!

Move forward!

Come forward!

Keep your hands in the air, and your weapons visible at all times.

Form up in three columns across the square.

Now, ground your arms and take three paces back slowly.

Move three paces back, now!

The game's over, Harry.

We lost again.

MAN: Quick march!

Pick your feet up!

Move it, you Fenian bastard!

OFFICER: Open the gates!

Come on! Move it.

Come on! Come on!

Leave me alone.

Now, show me the ringleaders of this little farce.


With the gunner eye.


Thomas Clarke.

Connolly. (SCREAMS)

Get up, you Fenian swine. Get up!

Wait, Michael. Wait.

Till when?

Till the next time.

(GROANING) Turn your eyes! Go on!

Eamon de Valera.

What happens next time?

We won't play by their rules, Harry.

We'll invent our own.


The fact that I was born in America

might save my hide.

Either way, I am ready for what comes.

The Irish Republic is a dream no longer.


It is daily sealed

by the lifeblood of those who proclaimed it.


And every one of us they shoot, brings more people to our side.


EAMON: They cannot imprison us forever.

And from the day of our release, Michael, we must act as if the Republic is a fact.

We defeat the British Empire by ignoring it.





They let us out of jail, so we can do our best to be put inside again, Harry.

Don't you see a certain paradox in that?



A contradiction.

Where an immovable force meets an immovable object kind of thing.




Lookit, Harry.

Isn't that a lovely picture? What?


MICHAEL: Maybe we should settle down.

Aye, just the two of us?

And him.

Who? Come on.


Thank you.

All right, Michael, how are you?

So, tell me. How long's your man been there for?

As long as we have.

Half an hour or so.

How do they know we were coming?

They know what we ate for breakfast.

There's only one way to beat them, then. What's that?

Find out what they eat for breakfast.


It's market day. (SHEEP BLEATING)

Where are you going? (URGING)

So, what did you have for breakfast?

Bit of a traffic jam here, lads.

I think if you backed up, then we could back up, and so you could chase us some more.

Sure, if we sit here a minute, it'll sort itself out.

All right, grand so.



The fact that the candidate you're being asked to vote for is at this moment, rotting in an English jail shouldn't put you off!

Sure was I in one myself till a week ago. (CROWD LAUGHING)

They can jail us, they can shoot us! (CROWD SHOUTING)

They can even conscript us! (PEOPLE PROTESTING)

They can use us as cannon fodder in the Somme!


But we have a weapon more powerful than any in the whole arsenal of the British Empire!

And that weapon is our refusal!

Our refusal to bow to any order, but our own!

Any institution, but our own!

Our friends in the Royal Irish Constabulary would like to shut me up.

Don't say! Stop!

Jail me again, shoot me, who knows?

But I'd like you to send them a message!

If they shut me up, who'll take my place?


Who's going to take my place?

We will!

I can't hear you!

Who'll take my place?

Will they shut you up? (CLAMORING)



Clear a path!

Clear a path!

Get him out! Go, get him out!

So, what's your name?


Is Harry here, too?


What did they hit you with?

Ah, whatever it was, it was hard.


You'll be all right then. You're a nurse, Kitty?

I'm nothing.

I'm my father's daughter.

And who's your father? He's dead.

There's dinner in an hour, if you fancy it.

MICHAEL: Grand so.



Gorgeous, Kitty. Beautiful.


Mick's about to make another speech. (CHUCKLING)

What are you saying over there, Boland, you Dublin jackeen?

What would you know about singing?

HARRY: I agree, you West Cork muck savage.

You're the expert in singing.

So, it's your turn now, Mick, right?

Hey, hey, hey, give over, Harry, will ya?

She has a voice like an angel. I have one like a puck goat.

Ladies, is it or is it not Mick's turn?

WOMEN: Yes. Harry, stop. No, no, no, please.

A noble call is mine and I call on Michael.

Mick, give us your party piece, come on. We'd love to hear you.

Come on, Mick. Give us a song.

HARRY: (SOFTLY) Now, he hasn't a note in his head.

Shut up.


"Oh, well do I remember the bleak December day

"The landlord and the sheriff Came to drive us all away

"They set my roof on fire With their cursed foreign spleen"


Twelve more verses, now. (ALL CHUCKLE)


You wanted to be woken.

There was a man in West Cork who proposed to five sisters one after the other.

KITTY: I suppose they all refused.

Then the father died, and he proposed to the mother.

(GRUNTING) Are you trying to tell me something?

I was building up to a proposal.

But it's not easy with a Fenian in your bed.

He likes you, too. HARRY: I do?

Stop it, now.

But, sadly, he snores. I do not.

So, it's up to you, Kitty.

I don't have to like either. Never was a truer word spoken.

And he sleeps in his trousers. (GROANS)

(SOFTLY) Bastard.

Forgive the brute. Mmm.

Morning. Morning.

MICHAEL: Behave yourself.

Am I dreaming?

I think you are.


MICHAEL: We'll be an invisible army.

Our uniform will be that of the man on the street, the peasant in the field.

We'll come out of the crowd, strike the enemy and vanish back into the crowd again.

What do you propose we strike with?

What have you got?


Show me.

Look at this, Harry. (CHUCKLING)

Same old story. You need something better.

Sean, where's that police barracks? Two miles down the road.

Two miles down that road, there's an arsenal.

How the fuck are we supposed to get in? We haven't even got bullets!

Yeah, but they don't know that.

What's that?

A sod of turf. MICHAEL: Wrong. That's a weapon.

(ALL LAUGHING) Fucking deadly.

You don't believe me?


What is it now?



MICHAEL: Good evening, lads.

Hands in the air.

Drop your weapons! Now! Come on.

Gentlemen, we'll be relieving you of your responsibilities.

Grab that bag, one of youse. Come on.

Jesus, lads, it's Christmas.



You'll be organized in flying columns. You'll live on the road, you'll engage the enemy in nobody's terms but your own.

What's your name? Pat.

Whose terms, Pat? Our terms.

I want each of those to capture ten more.

And I want you to account for every bullet, you understand?

ALL: Yes.

Stand up!

You understand? ALL: Yes, sir!

I'll make a fucking army out of you if it's the last thing I do.


MICHAEL: Am I late, Joe? Not yet.

MICHAEL: Won't do it to keep the gob-shites waiting.

Can't leave here...

Mick, Harry, I want something... HARRY: Hold on, hold on, hold on.

Behind you.

Jesus wept.

Five minutes. Five.

You, come here.

Sit down.

Have a drink.


What's all this, huh?

What's all this?

You've been on my heels for weeks, now.

Very fucking eager for a G-man.

I've something for you.


Don't you ever calm down?

Names and addresses of the whole cabinet.

They're to be lifted tonight.

It's an illegal gathering in open defiance of His Majesty's government.

How'd you get this?

Like you said, I'm eager for a G-man.

Why should I trust you, huh?

Logically, I suppose you shouldn't.

But, as you said, I've been on your heels for weeks, making notes of your speeches.

Let's just say, you can be persuasive.

You work for the Castle, for Christ's sake.

I know.

What was it you said?

"Our only weapon is our refusal."


CATHAL: I am getting very tired of watching this spectacle of an upstart dominating these entire cabinet proceedings.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, the minister is, as usual, exceeding his brief.

And just what is my brief, Cathal?

CATHAL: Intelligence.


I'm minister for gunrunning, daylight robbery and general mayhem.

And until our boys are armed, nothing's going to happen.

But as Minister for Intelligence, I'd like to inform you that every man jack of us is to be arrested tonight.

How does the minister know this?

Uh-uh. Now, now, Cathal, don't exceed your brief.

Names, addresses, next of kin, of the whole cabinet.

They know more about us than our own mothers do.

How do we know it's genuine?

Well, we don't, chief. But it could well be.

So, nobody sleeps at home tonight.

I disagree.

Do sleep at home tonight.

If Mr. Collins has been gulled, we'll sleep soundly.

If not, they will arrest the cabinet.

The public outcry will be deafening. Maybe then the world will listen.

Dev, you can't be serious.

We've been rotting in English jails for long enough, man!

I am serious, Michael.

MICHAEL: Fuck them.

HARRY: Mind your tongue. MICHAEL: I fucking will in future.

Mother of God.

Pull in, pull in.

Christ, the G-man was right.

Come on.


This is an illegal arrest by an illegal force of occupation!

Jesus Christ.

It's the safest house in Dublin now.

May as well stay the night.

So, what does the minister think?

MICHAEL: Which minister?

We're the only two left. (SIGHS)

I'm changing your brief, Harry.

I hereby appoint you Minister for General Mayhem.


And what's your brief?

The same.

Plus, one other portfolio.



I'm so sorry.

You sure? Do you wanna hear this? Oh, you don't think so.

(SCREAMS) How are youse?

Didn't I tell you he snores? Jesus.

Mick. How are you?

Do you remember Kitty? (CLEARS THROAT)

Indeed, I do. How are you, Kitty? Do you remember me?


All right, all right.

I know when I'm not wanted.

See you.

Good night. Good night, Mr. Boland.


MICHAEL: I'll wrestle you for her.

Ah, go away.

She wouldn't be interested in a bogman like you.

How much do you want to bet?

Come here, Boland! Come here!

I'll burn you!

Come on, relax.


Leave me alone!


Joe, give us a hand, will you?

Give me an ear! (SCREAMING)

You pig!

Go on! Fuck off and leave me alone!

So, what's your game, Mr. Broy?

Don't have a game. Why did you give me that list?

Why didn't you act on it?

The cabinet thinks it's more useful in jail.

You obviously don't agree.


All I know is you're from the Castle and the Castle spies and informers run us through like woodworm.

You could play the same game.

You're a queer bloody G-man.

(CHUCKLES) You don't believe me, do you?

I'm not sure.

What would it take to convince you?

You can show me the Castle files.

(GULPS) I'd never get them out.


But you could get me in.


Jesus, you're serious? (CHUCKLES)

(SOFTLY) You think I'm joking?

Does anybody know what I look like?

Only me.

Pretend I'm an informer.

Let me in around midnight.

We'd never get away with it.

I assure everything's possible if you wish hard enough.

Now, who said that?

You did. No.

'Twas him.

Peter Pan.


MICHAEL: How is the man?

Grand evening. All right, yeah, not bad.

MICHAEL: Is Broy here?

Broy who? Detective Ned Broy.

He told me to drop by if I had any information.

How are you?

Inspector Broy?

Straight down there.

BROY: Who is it? Grace, sir. John Grace.

Come in, Mr. Grace.

I've information relating to the guttersnipe called Collins.

You're not nervous? I'm shaking.

BROY: Don't.

You'll have to use this.


Index to the files.

Files on the IRB in England, Scotland, America.

Irish Volunteers.

Sinn Féin, more Sinn Féin.

More IRB.

I'm gonna have to lock you in.

If you hear anyone outside, don't make a sound.

Grand so.

If you're caught, you're on your own.

Don't I know it.

Jesus wept.



Christ, that's all we need. (BANGS TABLE)

Come on, get up! Come on, get up, you drunken...

Get up! He was celebrating, Tom.

The birth of his child.

Was he, now? And what was it, a boy or a girl?


Have a drink, Tom.

All work and no play.

Are you finished in here? Aye.

So, it's a drink, is it? Shame to waste it.

Take it with you.

Come on. We'll get you cleaned up and take you home.



Where's me breakfast? Time to go, Mick.

Wait a minute.

Mick, you're pushing it.

Can you get a typist in your sight?


I want every new file copied and sent to me.

I'll try. Now, come on, you got to leave.

You could squash us in a week, you know that?

Why do you think I came to you?

If we don't get there first, things might have to get rough.

How rough?

Very rough.

These files are no good without the G-Men who compiled them.

That's rough, all right.

Could you handle it?

After tonight, I could handle anything.

Come on.

Jesus Christ, Mick, where the hell have you been?

MICHAEL: Working.

Working where?

(SIGHS) I want a file drawn up on every member of the British administration.

Look through whatever you can find. Who's Who, stubs, society columns.

I want names, addresses, clubs, where they bank, down to what they eat for breakfast.

Keep it up to date, add to it every week.

Tom. Tom! TOM: Mmm. Yeah.

Get me a list of the 12 best men in the Dublin Division.

Young, without families.

TOM: What for? Christ, the 12 Apostles.

Just do it, will ya? For fuck's sake.

And, Joe, take a letter.

HARRY: Where the hell have you been?

MICHAEL: "To whom it may concern.

"This is to inform you that any further collaboration

"with the forces of occupation will be punishable by death.

"You have been warned."

Signed, "The Irish Republican Army."

Are you serious?

Afraid so.

Send one to every G-man.

I had a look at their files. They know more about us than we do.


Look, that's us.

Where'd you get these? You know how they thrive, don't you?

Informers. Hmm?

Without them, the Brits would have no system. They couldn't move.

Now, imagine Dublin, but the Castle like an enclave, where anyone, and I mean anyone, who collaborated knew he'd be shot.

They wouldn't be able to move outside those fucking walls.

That's how serious I am.

There's only one problem.

MICHAEL: What's that?

We'd have to do it.




(SIGHS) could you bear it?

(BREATHING HARD) You got one, too?

It's a joke.

No Fenian guttersnipe threatens me.

Give us a name, Ned.

What for?

Someone to hang up and fry like bacon!

Here's one.

Cullen. (SCOFFS)





Don't threaten us, you Fenian swine.

We threaten you!

What's this mean?

It means you can get out now.


Give up our jobs?

And miss out on all of the fun?

(BREATHING HARD) Or face the music, Hoey.

You're the only one who will make music here.

MICHAEL: God's curse on them!


Go on!


Who the hell is John Grace?

Give me that.


They dumped him.




Tom. Hoey.

I know. Come on.

Any of ye who've read Irish history will know that movements like ours have always been destroyed by paid spies and informers.

And I want to set up an outfit that'll rectify that.

Your job will be to wreck the system of information the Castle uses against us.

To make it unhealthy for them to run it.

How unhealthy? What?

We've sent letters of warning to every G-man.

If they're stupid enough to stay in the Castle, then they'll be shot.

And you will have to do the shooting.

Don't expect it to be pleasant.

Now, any of ye with any qualms, there's the door.


Would we have got past the door? (PEOPLE CHUCKLING)

Well, you would have, Vinny.

Seriously, though, I won't force this on any man.

May the Lord have mercy on your soul. What?







I want to thank you.

EAMON: For what, Father?

PRIEST: For these mornings, praying together.

I can't pretend to understand your politics.

But I can appreciate your integrity.

And I yours, Father.

And if prayer can transcend these things, there's hope, surely.

There must be.

MICHAEL: Fuck! Raid.

Out, out! Everybody out! Come on!

Move! Fucking get out!




Begging your pardon, ma'am. How do I get out of here?



Give me the Mail, would you?


That's for the job on Friday. (GUNSHOT)

WOMAN: Oh, my God!

MAN: Get them! Get those two men!

Stop them!

These are the best premises you could get, Joe?

Just a temporary stopgap, Mick, I swear to God.

Mick. Mick.

What'll be next, the knackers' yard?

They've made the front page, Mick.

MICHAEL: So, what does it say?

"Dublin detective riddled with bullets."

"Riddled"? "Riddled"?

What are you going around riddling people for?

Ten or 20 bullets, when the one would do?

Just wanted to make sure he wouldn't get up.

Jesus, lads, would you try and remember they don't grow on trees.

What don't they grow on? Trees.

Get out.

From the chief. Hmm? When did this come in?

This morning. Boys.

You did well. But go easy on the riddling, will ya?

Go on.

You sure it's from Dev?

Christ, pure genius. What?

Look at that. (LAUGHS)

Yeah, I want peace and quiet.

I want it so much, I'd die for it.

You mean you'd kill for it first.

No, not first. Last.

Did it ever strike you, you were good at it?

Good at what?

Bloody mayhem.

You're not so bad yourself. (CHUCKLES)

But, Mick, you're more than good.

You leave them sitting in the ha'penny place.

We haven't seen anything yet.

Are you saying things are gonna get worse?

So, then we'll have to get worse?


And you know what I think then?

I hate them.

Not for their race, not for their brutality.

I hate them because they've left us no way out.

I hate whoever put a gun in young Vinny Byrne's hand.

I know it's me and I hate myself for it.

I hate them for making hate necessary.

And I'll do what I have to do to end it.

All right, lad.

Fancy a good time? Not tonight, girls.

Now, relax, you bastard.


Dev, two minutes to the next watch.

For fuck's sake.

EAMON: Mind your language.

The bleeding key broke, Dev.

EAMON: I'll try mine.

You can't. The fucking keyhole's jammed.

EAMON: That's no excuse for obscenities.

Maybe I can force it out.

HARRY: (WHISPERING) Come on, Mick.

Come on, come on.

Come on, Dev. Push.

Got it. Got it!

Emergency supplies.

Man, but you're blessed.

What's this?

That's my aunt's fur coat. Pretend you're a whore.

EAMON: I could.



Come on. Up ahead.

All I'm missing is the high heels.

No, give me that.

MICHAEL: Drive! Hop to!

Hey, get out! Get out! (GROANS)




You look good in furs.

There are certain things one should not do for one's country.

Like what? Like go on the game?

Some died for Ireland, but Dev, he whored for Ireland. (ALL LAUGHING)

I suppose it does set a historical precedent.

I'll take you home again, Kathleen.

I see you've been having fun in my absence.

Oh, yeah, right. Fun and games all the way, chief.

I know.

I read the papers.

Oh, mother of God, we're famous.

No, he is.

Better lay low for a week. That nose of his is hard to hide.

And then all of Dublin can throw a hooley.

Did Dev not speak to you? What about?

He wants to go to America. What?

Aye. And he wants me to go with him.

Dev! You can't do this to me!

I want to petition the American public for their support.

I want recognition from President Wilson for an Irish Republic.

I want the moral force of international opinion brought to bear on the British government.

There's only one kind of force they understand and you know it!

Our job is at home!

Our job is where I say it is.

And as president of the Irish Republic, I want recognition from the president of the United States.

Go to America then, blast you! But leave me Boland!

What's so special about Harry? MICHAEL: I know my men.

And I can't do it without him. Do what?

I can't run a war without Harry Boland!

You could run it without me.


MICHAEL: Christ, the whole of Dublin must be out there, Harry.

Look, look, look at the face on Smith.

HARRY: So near, yet he can't touch him.

MICHAEL: Don't worry. He'll try.

Not here, he won't.

No. But we can't let the Long Fella hang around, Harry.


Harry, come on. Move.

Dev, come on. Get a move. Chief, come on.

Good luck, mates.


Open up! Get out of my house! Oh!

Check upstairs!



Dev, remember one thing over there.

You're my chief, always.

Come on! Go on!


Come on, move.



Since you Dublin boyos can't sort out this Collins, I suppose it's up to us.

Files on the IRB, England, Scotland, America, The Irish Volunteers, Sinn Féin, more Sinn Féin...

Forget the files!

I want a list of anyone with a remote connection with this geezer.

And I want them lifted. Tonight!

It's not that simple, sir.

But it is that simple, Mr. Broy.

We'll make it that simple.

There's a new regime in here and it's starting now!

Good day, Mr. Broy.

Better Belfast efficiency's what they need.



Passport. Your name's Harry Clyne until you get there, all right?


I've got a birth-cert done for you, and some bits and pieces money and the like.

There you go.

Thanks, Mick.

Fuck and blast him, anyway!

I can't do without you! I told him that.

Why do you think he chose me? Hmm?

He's scared to leave the two of us together.

We might achieve that Republic he wants to talk to the world about.

I don't know.

They're filling up the Castle from Belfast, Harry.

Things'll get rough.

(SIGHS) Rougher than we can imagine.

But whatever you do, you don't let them near you, do you hear me?

Don't let them near you.

They can't imagine a gunman in a pinstriped suit on a bicycle.

Fuck it. It's worked for us so far.

Let's hope my luck holds out and the wheels don't buckle. (CHUCKLES)

Come here.

Are you coming to the train? I will.

Someone there for you to say hello to.

Oh, yeah? I wonder who that is, now. (MUTTERS)

She'll need looking after while I'm away.


He's leaving me, Mick. I thought he was leaving me.

Ah, shut up, the two of you. I'm leaving no one.

Is it true, Mick, all the women in America wear trousers?

Absolutely. Shameless hussies, the lot of them.


Oh, did you hear?

There's a butterfly been seen in West Clare.

Its wings are green, white and yellow. Oh, God.

The lads say it is a sign.

(LAUGHING) Sign? My foot.

I'm telling you. You know the problem of butterflies?

What's that? They only last for one day.

Aye, but what a day, Mick.

This one's empty. What a day.

I leave you so. Here's your ticket.


It'll be all right, you know that. Yeah.

I pray it will.

See you, Mick.


I don't want to go.

Goodbye. Bye.

Will you write? I will.

You promise?

See you.

Your papers, miss.

MICHAEL: Lads, lads.

Can a man not say goodbye to his wife in peace?

Sorry, Kitty.

Where I come from, we call it taking liberties.

I promised Harry I'd look after you.

Come on.



MAN: Order! Order!

What the bloody hell?



Take a section each.

And time is of the essence.

The sooner we finish, the sooner we go home.

Toothcomb, gentlemen.


MAN: Black and Tan scum!

Hey, fuck off!

For fuck's sake, we put up with this bollocks every fucking day!

Stupid Irish cow!




MICHAEL: I love trains. Don't you, Ned?

BROY: What's so special about them?

MICHAEL: They make me think of places I know I'll never see.

They're the elite of the British Secret Service.

Churchill handpicked them.

Give me everything you've got.

No addresses?

They keep to themselves.

They were sent here for one reason, weren't they?

To eliminate you and your boys.

I can't hold on much longer, Mick.

It's pulling me to ribbons.

Neither can I, Ned. But sure keep it a secret, would you?

Doesn't he have a face, this Collins? Hmm?

Doesn't he have corporeal form?


This the best you've got?

Afraid so, sir.


Well, thank you, boy. That'll be all.

Broy, sir.


Yes. Broy.


May I trouble you for a light, sir?


So, that's Mr. Soames. How many to go?


Tom, move.

MICHAEL: I'll handle it, Liam. Tom.

How are you, Charlie?

This is Rosie, Mr. Collins. Hello, Rosie. How are you? Sit down.

Tell him about Mr. Soames, Rosie.

Well, he tips me every day. Mmm-hmm.

Not like some.

What time does he get up in the morning?

I come in at 9:00.

He's washing, you see, behind the screen, so I don't see him.

I empty the basket and take the linen.

And then his hand comes over the screen with a half-crown in it.

You shouldn't take it, Rosie.

ROSIE: He's a gentleman, Charlie.

And you're a lady, Rosie. Shut up, you.

Thank you, Mr. Collins.

Show him what you got from the basket, Rosie.


Come on.


God bless you, Rosie.

We've got them.

These men have more experience than you ever will.

You'll get one chance and one only.

And I don't need to tell you, it's either them or us.

We hit them at daybreak, so if anyone's not up to it, let them say so now.

Come on, lads.

I know what some of you've been through.

There's no shame in pulling out.

Thank you.

Nobody tonight stays in your usual places.

Vaughan's, Core's Street, Cleary's Pub.

If any of us are lifted, we're dead.


Tom. Okay, let's go.

What? I got a message for you from Kitty.

Where is she? Fuck! Vaughan's.

Get your things, Kitty.

Couldn't you say hello? Hello.

Just what do you think you're doing? Harry told me to look after you.

And have you never heard of common courtesy?


Kitty, please. You can't stay here.

Why? Don't ask questions.

Come on.

Johnny, if any of our lads come in, tell them to stay somewhere else.

Where else? Anywhere else. And look sharp, will you?


Sufficient unto the day the evil thereof, aye, boy?

Yes, sir.

Or is it Broy?

Broy, sir.

Good night, sir. Hmm.

Stay on him.

You're hurting me.

I said, you're hurting me!

Kitty, please.




Joe, I'm in The Gresham.

Can't tell you. No, no, no, listen, everything's fine.

Call me if anything's up, yeah?

(KNOCKING) Come in!

Where will you have it, Mr. Grace? Oh, here. Here is fine.

Ta. Thank you.


I'm going, Mick.

You can't go. For Christ's sake, why do you think I brought you here?

I don't know why!

(SIGHING) Vaughan's isn't safe.

Not tonight.


Sweet Mother of God.

SOLDIER: What was on the paper, paddy?

Words. Just words. (GROANS)

What's happening tonight, Mick?

MICHAEL: You don't want to know.

Am I allowed to guess?

(INHALES DEEPLY) Have you heard from Harry?


He wrote.

He always writes.

When you both came to Granard the first time, you were...

But he was the one that wrote.

Why was that, Mick?

(CHUCKLES) He's the writing type, Harry.

(SOFTLY) What type are you?

Let me go!

I know exactly where I'm going!

I can walk!

I can walk!


Promise me something, Kitty.


Promise me you'll never care about me, please?

I promise.


SOAMES: The trouble with the Irish, they sing at the drop of a hat.

Ask them to talk, and they won't.

Do what you have to do.


You've sent your boys out, haven't you?

It's written on your face.

Every step they take.

Like so many valentines.

Delivering bouquets.

Do you send a love note, Mick, with the flowers?


What does it say?

MAN: Do it!




Come on! Go!


It says, "Leave us be."

Is that all?

Not very romantic.

(GASPING) MAN: Move away from her.

(STAMMERING) You could at least spare my wife this spectacle.


Take her outside.

Get off...


I'm not his bloody wife!


Time to say your prayers.

You know what it says, Kitty?

It says, "Give us the future. We've had enough of your past."

The Lord is my shepherd.

(CONTINUES INDISTINCTLY) MICHAEL: "Give us our country back

"to live in, to grow in, "to love."




So, there is love there, huh, Mick.


Hang on, Rosie.

Clean sheets, I think.

(SHRIEKS) Come on!


So, Mick, flowers delivered.

Do you think they got the message?


MICHAEL: Any casualties?

Any casualties?

Are youse deaf, or what?

Broy. (GRUNTS)

Ned fucking Broy!

What are you talking about? Broy wasn't out.

They lifted him at Vaughan's.

What was he... What was he doing?

Oh, sweet Mother of Jesus.








Sheamus! Sheamus!


WOMAN: Oh, God.

Can't risk it any longer, Mick.

Who'll give in first, Joe?

Us or them?

The body or the lash?

You look like a gangster!

HARRY: You look like a ghost!

Welcome back, Harry!

How are you keeping, Mick?

Ah, grand, grand. You all right?

You're famous over there now.

Over where?

Over there, you thick. (CHUCKLES)

So, how was America?

It was great.

MICHAEL: Dev never got to meet the President, did he?

I didn't think he would.

HARRY: How are you?

I'm grand.

JOE: Welcome back, chief.

The big fella sends his regards.

We'll see who is the big fella.

Apologies, gentlemen.

As you may know,

we have had some communication from the British side.

There is a slim possibility that they might want to talk.

But our tactics

allowed the British press to paint us as murderers.

If we are to negotiate as a legitimate government, our armed forces must act like a legitimate army.

What exactly do you mean, Dev?

I mean large-scale engagements.

You mean, like in 1916? Hmm?

The great heroic ethic of failure all marching in step toward slaughter.

Why don't we save them all the bother and blow our own brains out?

How dare you!

MICHAEL: How do you think we even got them to this point, where they'll even consider talking?

We brought them to their knees the only way we could!

They call us murderers.

War is murder! Sheer, bloody murder!

Had you been here the past year, you'd know that!

I propose an assault on the administrative center of British rule in Ireland.

The Customs House.


MAN: Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

How many we lose?

Six dead, 70 taken. Bloody fiasco. (GUNSHOTS)

Christ, not again! Come on.

What about the guns?

MICHAEL: Don't stop. We need the guns!

MICHAEL: Leave them!



You bitch. You bitch.

Way to go, Mick.

MAN: You fucking bastard!



There's nothing we can do, Mick. (PANTING)

There's nothing we can do.

How much longer can we hold out?


Four weeks. (SIGHS) But keep it a secret.

EAMON: As little as that?

Unless you want us to use bows and arrows.

Don't be flippant, Michael.

We nearly lost 80 men last week, Dev.

You tell him, Harry.

Come on!

Yes, Collins has the ball. (CHILDREN LAUGHING)

Over to...

He's right, chief.

MICHAEL: I lied, Harry.

HARRY: You lied? About what?

I doubt if we can hold out for another week.

Good Christ. Do they know that?

Nobody knows.

Mick, Dev's negotiating.

Yes, so, he doesn't know either.

And it's very important that he doesn't know, Harry.

The world has to believe we're invincible.

Maybe then we can talk.

Jesus Christ.

Kitty's down.

So, I heard.



Well, is she down to see you, or me?

Maybe both of us.

Why don't you take her down to Kingstown, get some sea air?

No, why don't you take her?

No, you take her.

No, you take her. No, you take her.

There's a horse called "Irish Republic" running at Donnybrook today.

(EXCLAIMS) What were the odds?

Fifty-to-one. Oh, Jesus, some odds, what?


Must be 100,000 Tommies here and not 2,000 of us.

I'd say fifty-to-one is optimistic.

Optimistic or no, she won.

No, you're joking? What?

Ten bob each way, that makes £25, plus the place money, £7, 10.

Right. And my stake makes

£33, 10... Thank you very much. £33, 10.

Why don't we let the Irish Republic buy us dinner? Go away.

MICHAEL: Great. I know just where to go.



So, which one of you gunslingers is going to ask me to dance?

Me, me, me, please, please, please. No, no, no, I will. I will.

Heads, it's Harry, tails, it's Mick. MICHAEL: Go ahead.


Kitty, may I have the pleasure? MICHAEL: The gangster wins again.

Watch his feet, Kitty. (HARRY CHUCKLES)

HARRY: Shut up, you.


I shouldn't have left, should I have, Kitty?

Why not?

I was a length ahead.

Now where am I?

It's not a race, Harry.

Do you mind telling me what it is, then?

You without him, him without you.

I can't imagine it.

Three-legged race.

Jesus Christ. Mick, where the hell have you been?

For God's sake, Joe, would you give me one free night to be a human being!

We've been combing the city for you! Have you heard?

No, I haven't heard!

Would the bloody Irish Republic give me some time off? If I...

Mick, it's over!

What's over? What do you mean?

It's over.

They called a truce.

You mean it's finished?

The whole damn thing? Yes.

You mean we've won?

Lloyd George has thrown in the towel?

We've brought the British Empire to its knees?


Why the fuck didn't you say so?


What was that horse called?

We did it! We did it! It's a truce! (KITTY LAUGHS)


(SCOFFING) You must be joking?

No. I won't do it.

I'm not a politician. I'm not going to London.

You're the strongest card we have.

They call me an assassin and a murderer, for Christ's sake.

Can you even see Churchill shaking my hand?

EAMON: We've broached it with him, we've had no objections.

You go, Dev.

You're the statesman.

You got some sense of how far we can push them. They know you.

That's the whole point. They don't know you.

Don't do this to me, Dev. Don't do it.

I'm no good at talk. I'm a yob from West Cork, Dev.


You'll head our team, Michael, to negotiate a treaty for the first time in history between Ireland and England.

We need to keep a final arbitrator in reserve.

And that'll be you.

That will be the Irish people.

And me as president of the Irish Republic.

Why does he want me there, Harry?

Why? Because you put the fear of God into them.

Save me the bullshit, now.

Mick, you are the strongest card we have.

What's he up to? What?

What are you talking about? I have one simple asset.

All these years, no one knows what I look like.


Which one of you is Michael Collins? (ALL CLAMORING)

He is.

That's him. See you, Mick.

The small fella.



Kitty! Kitty!


"From your very own plenipotentiary subject

"to the provisions of the said document

"hereinafter to be referred to as The Letter."


"They couldn't defeat us by force of arms, "but now I swear they're trying to defeat us by force of verbiage.

"The English language was never meant to be spoken like that.

"How in God's name, did these people ever get to run an empire?"

Harry. What?


Why not?

'Cause you'll get hurt.

How will I get hurt?

I'm in love with him.

I'm sorry.

I have to tell you.

Have you told him?


And maybe I never will.

I'm only telling you because I can't hurt you. (SCOFFS)

I'm out.

Lucky Mick.


MICHAEL: I did my best, Kitty, but I'm sure my best won't be good enough.

We'll have an Irish Free State, instead of an Irish Republic.

We'll have our own government.

But we have to swear allegiance to the English Crown.

The position of the north will be reviewed, but at the moment, remains a part of the British Empire.

This treaty is just a steppingstone, Kitty.

I hope the country sees it as such.

How are you?


(STAMMERING) Is this true?


It's the best anyone could have got, Harry.

Oh, Mick.

This gives up the north, divides the country.

Do you seriously expect us to give an oath of allegiance to the Crown?

They can't give us the Republic. It's not within their comprehension.

And that's why Dev sent me. (SIGHS) Mick.

What are you talking about?

He knew they wouldn't give us the Republic. That's why he sent me.

He wanted someone else to bring back the bad news.

We'll have an Irish Free State, a government of our own and we can use it to achieve whatever Republic we want.

It's either this, or war.

And I won't go to war over the form of words.

What if it's war either way, Mick?

You published the terms without my agreement!

They were the best we could get. EAMON: In your opinion!

And what's more, Dev, you sent me there because you knew they were the best we could get.

That is idle speculation. No, it's the truth.

Otherwise, you would have gone yourself.

I know it doesn't give us the Republic, but it gives us freedom to achieve the Republic. Peacefully.

And surely, it's time for peace.

What would you know about peace?

When I agreed to go to London, you said we could negotiate on behalf of our government, the Dáil and the Irish people.

If they reject it, I reject it.

But if they stand by it, I'll stand by it.

And I want to know that you'll do the same.


Will you come in for a pint?

MICHAEL: Don't stand out here...


He's read the papers. Come on.

Say something, would you?

I've known the two of you for four years.

You've slept together, lived together, fought together.

But your war is over now.


What if it's just beginning?


I'd be better off in Longford.



MAN: Give them words.

Do you have anything to say?

Mr. Collins!



CATHAL: Please! Please!

We were elected by the people of Ireland.

We were elected by the people of Ireland.

And did people of Ireland think we were liars when we meant to uphold the Irish Republic?


In the letters that preceded the negotiations, not once was the demand for recognition of the Irish Republic! (PEOPLE AGREEING)

If it had been made, we knew it would have been refused!

So, Mr. Collins is asking us to accept an oath of allegiance to a foreign king and the partition...


And the partition of the northern part of the country!

Mr. Collins, Mr. Collins, the man who won the recent war

has himself described the treaty as a stepping stone toward the ultimate freedom!

CATHAL: Mr. Griffith, Mr. Griffith...

Mr. Griffith has described Mr. Collins as the man who won the war!


On the point of order, Mr. Chairman.

Are we discussing the treaty, or discussing myself?

The minister does not like what I have say!

MICHAEL: Anything that can be said about me, say it!

Mr. Collins, the position you have in the army was as chief of one the subsections.

Nobody sought... Nobody sought...

Nobody sought notoriety except you!

Come on, Cathal!

One person was held up by the press and put into a position he never held.

He was made a romantic figure,

a mystical character, which he certainly is not!

The person I refer to is Michael Collins!


I would plead with every person here.

Make me a scapegoat, if you will. Call me a traitor, if you will.

But please, let's save the country.

The alternative to this treaty is a war, which nobody in this gathering can even contemplate.

If the price of freedom, the price of peace, is the blackening of my name, I will gladly pay it.

Thank you.



The results, ladies and gentlemen, is 64 to 57.

A majority of seven

in favor of the treaty.


There is one thing I want to say.

I want it to go to the country and to the world.

And it is this.

The Irish people established the Republic.

It can only be disestablished by the Irish people.

As a protest against the ratification of this treaty, which can only subvert the Republic,

I and my deputies are going to leave this house.


Traitors, all!

Not you, Harry.

All right, you've won.

You always win, Mr. Collins.

Rarely, Miss Kiernan.

Very rarely.

Jesus, I hate you. (CHUCKLES)

Sure, join the club.


You're seven minutes late, Mr. Collins.

You've kept us waiting 700 years.

You can have your seven minutes.

Right, let's get this over with.

MAN: Arrange! Present arms!



So, that's what caused all the bother, huh?


Now what?

Do I get to wear that hat? (CHUCKLES)

MAN: Turn about!

This treaty bars the way to the Republic with the blood of fellow Irishmen!


And if it is only with civil war that we can get our independence, then so be it!


The Volunteers will have to wade through Irish blood,

through the blood of some members of this government in order to get Irish freedom!


After 700 years!

After 700 years! (GUNSHOTS)



Let the man speak!

MICHAEL: Kitty, get over there.

Leave him be, lads!


You put the heart across me, Kitty.

I like the sound of your voice, Mick.


They won't accept the treaty, Mick.

No matter how the vote goes.

You heard what de Valera said.

I did wade through rivers of blood.

And who's blood do you think he's talking about?

(SHUSHING) Yours, Mick.

Will you marry me? Yeah?


You will?


It's that simple?



MAN: The Mail!



Who gave you that, you little runt?

What's all this about, Rory?

We've taken over the Four Courts. You fucking fool!

Mind your language.

Come on, man, do you want to start a civil war?

We'll defend the Repub... Forget about the Republic!

These kids have never seen a gun before!

We know how to train them. Oh, the way I trained you?

Where'd you get your orders from? The Volunteer Executive.

Ah... Dev's part of it, huh?

His half of it?

Go away home to your mothers, all of you!


You know what this means, Liam?

It's happened. The army's split down the middle.

Who's in there? Mellows, Lynch, Tom Barry, Oscar Traynor.


MICHAEL: Keep it off, Kitty.


There's a gunman outside by the railings.

Jesus' sake.


They won't shoot me, then. MICHAEL: Kitty!


Jesus, what are you doing to me? (GASPING)

They can shoot us, Mick, but they can't kill us.

What are you talking about? It's not possible.

I'm going to live to see you old.

I am old.

Old enough to see your hair turn gray.

I come from a long line of baldies.

Well, bald, then.

I can live with that.

MAN: I'm not going to have any of this! (ALL TALKING INDISTINCTLY)

I will not fight against men I trained with, I fought with!

The people have spoken, Mr. Collins, overwhelmingly, for the treaty you brought home!

They've occupied the Four Courts, half of O'Connor Street, Limerick, Cork.

It's anarchy out there! Better anarchy than civil war!

MAN: Churchill has offered us artillery! Let Churchill do his own dirty work!

Maybe he will, Michael.

Maybe he will.


Stop the cab.

It's not safe... Do as you're told.


Harry, talk to me, will you?

I don't want any bullshit, Mick.

Neither do I.

Come upstairs.

Is it true what I heard?


You're engaged?

Should I apologize for that, too?

No, no, no.

I'm happy for you both.

(SCOFFS) Me arse. You don't look it.

Maybe I don't, Mick, but I'm trying.

Do you understand? I'm trying.


I miss the way it used to be.

MICHAEL: Me, too.

They tell me you're Dev's right-hand man now.

HARRY: Ah, well, I suppose that's how it goes.

We were too dangerous together.

Do you know the funny thing, Harry?

For the first time in my life, I'm scared.

The big fella, scared?

I hate to say it, Mick, but you've a right to be.


You don't understand me.


You told me once that I was good at bloody mayhem.


I left the Brits in the ha'penny place and that's what I'm scared of, because once I start, there'll be no stopping me.

Don't you let it start, then.

Tear up that treaty.

It's the only thing we've got.

So, then it starts.


We fight.

They fight. We don't.

You said what you had to say and you can go now, Mick.

Listen to me. Please, listen to me. You don't know what you're saying!

I have nothing more to say to you!

Harry, for heaven's sake! (DOOR OPENS)

Do it, kid. Do it! Put the gun down!

MICHAEL: Save us all a lot of bother. Do it!

HARRY: Put that gun down!

Put the gun down.

Do you not hear me! I said put the gun down!

Get out.

Do it! MAN: Fire!



MAN 1: Fire! MAN 2: Fire!


How would you like a new boss, Joe?


Here, here.

Check the other side.

What happened?

JOE: Mick! Mick!

A load of them shot their way through to... Heading for the Catacombs.

He thinks Harry was with them.

Come on, let's go. Come on, let's go! Mick, it's not safe!

Mick, we'll never get through!





Come on, come on.



JOE: Calm down! It's the big fella!

What happened?

Who closed your eyes?

MAN: He was trying to make it across the river, sir.

I saw him and I plugged him from above.

I didn't ask you. I asked him.

MAN: You asked who?

I fucking asked him!

But he's dead, sir. You killed him, you little uniform git!

You plugged him, you little Free State gob-shite!

You were meant to protect him! He was one of them, sir!

No, sonny! You don't understand.

He was one of us.

Go on!

Back to your posts.


The papers said his last words were, "Have they got Mick Collins yet?"

It's not true, Mick.

You know it's not.

(VOICE BREAKING) I don't know anything anymore.

Tell Dev, Mick wants to talk. Nothing more, nothing less.

Not in Dublin.

Where, then?

West Cork?

There might be a chance.

Yeah, right. He'd never get out of there alive.

Doesn't he come from there?

That's like bandit country.

(CHUCKLES) They're the bandits that he trained, aren't they?

JOE: Maybe. But Mick doesn't know the new boys.

Well, he's going to have to get to know them now, isn't he?


What time is it?

7:00. Have you been here all night?

Any news?

They say if you went to Cork, there'll be a possibility.

Cork? (CHUCKLES) Fuck!

What do you think?

We've cleaned them out of everywhere, out of West Cork.

...shot there last week.

They wouldn't kill me in my own county shore.


How would you like a new boss, Joe?

Still, be nice to go home.


You'd be crazy to go, Mick. So, I'm crazy.

Come on, get the convoy together.

Go on.


JOE: Mick.

What? Here, for the cough.

(MICK COUGHS) Here, your new handkerchief.


MICHAEL: Ah, go on, would you! You're like an old clucking hen, fussing all the time!

Sweet suffering Jesus!

If you're going down, I'm going with you.

MICHAEL: That's where it all started, Joe.

Fenian stories by the fireside.

Is that your home?

Was, till the Tans burned it.


Grand evening. What are you doing here, Mick?

Sir, haven't I a civil war to run?

Come on, it's my round.


Come to flog us that bloody treaty, have you?

I'm flogging fuck-all. I've come to buy.

Drinks for the county on me.

Come on, Joe, four pints.


Is it him?

Looks like it.

Looks like he wants to meet.


Can I trust him?

Can you trust anyone these days, chief?


Oh, well, do I remember the year of '48, when I rose with comrades brave and true.


I was hunted through the hills by slaves who served a foreign queen.


Say it to me, kid.

Put it away, Joe.

BOY: Who the fuck are you?


Who the fuck am I?


I'm the fucker that asked to meet Dev.

And who's Dev when he's at home?

And who are you?


But if I did know this Dev, what would you say to him?

Tell him that Harry Boland's death was enough.

Tell him that Mick Collins says he wants to stop this bloody mayhem.

Tell him I'm sorry I didn't bring back the Republic.

But nobody could have!

He was my chief, always.

I would have followed him to hell if he'd asked me.

And maybe I did.

But it's not worth fighting for anymore.

We've got to learn to build with what we have!

You tell him that.

Where can he find you?




So, I take it you heard?

(GROANS) Jesus, Mick.

God forgive us, Harry.

Have you got any reply?

He's come all this way.

Be kind of rude not to give him an answer.


He says he'll meet you tomorrow.

What's wrong with now?

(SCOFFS) His nerves are at him.

Béal na mBláth, there's a farmhouse to the left on the Bandon side.

Around 12:00.

Hey kid, what's your name?

Little snot.

Béal na mBláth?

Go, will you!

Should I ask the whole bunch to the wedding, Joe?

Do you think that'd fix it?

Be a big bloody wedding, Mick.

We'll invite the whole country. Call it marital diplomacy.

Dev as best man. Lloyd George, Winston Churchill as bridesmaids. (LAUGHING)

What's up? Why'd he stop?

Why'd we stop?


LIAM: Move it!

Get those bloody carts off the road! Come on, move it!

Come on!

Come on!

How long?

LIAM: Two minutes. (GUNSHOT)

They're trying to fucking kill me. Get down!

Keep firing!

Give it to me, give it to me! Here, get off!


No! Jesus! Mick!

Mick. Aye, Mick.

Come on, talk to me.

No, no, no, Mick. Don't go!

Don't go, don't go on me! Mick!

Come on, Mick!

Fuck, Jesus, don't go on us, Mick! Please! Don't!

Miss Kiernan?

Miss Kiernan?

Miss Kiernan? Miss Kiernan!

I'm sorry.

I just heard.

I'm sorry.




JOE: That's why he died, Kitty.

He knew the risk he was taking when he went down there.

But he thought them worth taking.

He took them for us.

For every gob-shite in this country, no matter what side that we're on.

And if he saw you now, do you know what he'd say?

"Get up off the parliamentary side of your arse, "and get a bit of color in your face."

But he would have said it better, Joe.