American Rhetoric: Movie Speech

"Michael Collins" (1996)

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Eamon de Valera and Michael Collins Discuss British Propaganda and Irish Military Tactics

Audio mp3 of Debate delivered by and Liam Neeson and Alan Rickman

de Valera: 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 allow 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.

Collins: What exactly do you mean, Dev?

de Valera: I mean large-scale engagements.

  Collins: You mean like in 1916. The great heroic ethic of failure. All marching in step towards slaughter. Why don’t we save them the bother and blow our own brains out.

  Cathal Brugha: How dare you!

Collins: How do you think we’ve got them to this point? Where they’ll even consider talking? We’ve brought them to their knees the only way we could.

  de Valera: They call us murderers.

  Collins: War is murder, sheer bloody murder. If you’d been here for the last year, you’d know that.

  de Valera: I propose an assault on the administrative center of British rule in Ireland: The Customs House.

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