This question has appeared on Ordinary Level papers twice in the last four years, so it may come up again. It's not the same as the named leader in the struggle for independence, so you don't write about Collins here. Instead, you're writing a first-person answer, same as with the earlier unionist living in Ulster question.
|The Third Tipperary Brigade, one of many Flying Columns during the War of Independence.|
- Introduce yourself. State your aims. "I am a soldier fighting for Irish independence from Britain".
- In an answer like this you have a lot of freedom. You can say that your brother fought in the 1916 Rising and was killed, so you are continuing his fight.
- Talk about joining the Volunteers/IRA and Sinn Féin. Talk about how Sinn Féin did in 1918. Perhaps there's a certain Corkman you look up to.
- The first battle of the War of Independence was in Soloheadbeg, Co. Tipperary. Talk about what has happened since. What kind of warfare do you use? Are you in a Flying Column? What does your column do? You can also mention Collins' Squad. Maybe you'd like to be a part of it some day.
- Talk about the main incidents of the war: Terence McSwiney's death, Bloody Sunday at Croke Park, and the burning of Cork city all come up here. Mention the Black and Tans. Who were they?
- The war came to a halt when Collins and others went to negotiate a treaty. What were you hoping for?
- Collins has come back with the Anglo-Irish Treaty. What kind of reaction has it got? What do you think of it? (That can be up to you, you can choose to support it or oppose it). A civil war is looming now. Who will you be fighting with?
So, in short...
- Introduce yourself. State your aims. Mention your brother in the 1916 Rising.
- Talk about joining the Volunteers.
- The outbreak of the War of Independence.
- Your role: Flying Columns, the Squad, guerilla warfare.
- The main incidents of the war.
- The truce and your hopes for the treaty (briefly).
- The Anglo-Irish Treaty and the reaction to it.
- get bogged down talking too much about one aspect. A lot happened in this time but you must be as concise (to the point) as possible!
- write about Collins or any other leader. This is first-person.