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Armoured car linked to Collins ambush to go on display

The Sliabh na mBan was used to transport Collins's body away from the scene of the ambush

AN iconic armoured car linked to the assassination Michael Collins will be put on display at Dublin's Glasnevin Cemetery on Sunday.

The 1920 Rolls-Royce, known as the ‘Sliabh na mBan', was part of the convoy accompanying the general when it was ambushed on August 22 1922 at Béal na mBláth in west Cork.

The attack resulted in Collins, who was then Commander in Chief of the National Army, suffering a fatal gunshot wound to the head. The vehicle's machine had jammed during the ambush.

However, it played a significant role in history when it was used to transport the general's body from the scene.

The vehicle eventually ended up in the Curragh Camp in Co Kildare where it appeared for many years in records under the heading ‘scrap', but was all the while being maintained by the cavalry workshops.

In 2011, the car underwent extensive refurbishment at the Defence Forces Combined Vehicle Base Workshop with the help of Lisburn-based restoration experts.

While working on the car the team discovered a strike mark of a .303 bullet on its turret, possibly dating back to the historic ambush.

When the restored Sliabh na mBan was officially unveiled in September 2011 Taoiseach Enda Kenny referred to it as a “silent witness” to the turbulent foundation of the State.

He said while the Rolls-Royce might be an inanimate object, “it speaks to us, it shouts resistance, endurance, integrity, struggle and victory”.

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