Historic Michael Collins letter to fetch 50,000 Euros

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IT is the first written indication of what would become an intense rivalry between Michael Collins and Eamon de Valera, ultimately splitting the nation.

It is expected to fetch up to €50,000 at auction next week.

A letter, written by Collins on the first anniversary of the Easter Rising in April 1917 to fellow Rising leader Thomas Ashe, gives his views of the incredibly tense political affairs of the time.

Written in code -- as Ashe was still in prison -- it contains some caustic remarks about de Valera and Arthur Griffith as Collins went about strengthening his own political base and rebuilding the Irish Republican Brotherhood following his release from internment a few months earlier.

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