Photo by William Moores
There is nothing smarter than the Kerry Blue Terrier in proper trim and shown to advantage in the ring, writes Bill Moores. And so it was at the recent Irish Kennel Club International championship show when what arguably should have been Ireland's national breed took on allcomers and went best in show under judge Mrs Susan Kealy.
But there was also great interest in the solid silver trophy won by the Kerry Blue d O'Brian & Poulova's Int Sk/Pl/ & Cz Ch Edbrios Blue Evenhoe the day before he went best in show.
Pictured here is the famous Michael Collins Trophy for best Kerry Blue in Ireland. The trophy was presented by the first Sinn Fein leader to the Dublin Irish Blue Club and it still displayed although living most of its life in a bank vault.
Michael Collins played a major part in Ireland's history after 1916 but it was after the Easter Uprising that Collins made his mark leading to the treaty of 1921 that gave Ireland dominion status within the British Empire. The six northern counties were allowed to contract out of the treaty and remain part of the United Kingdom. To Collins, the treaty was simply the start of a process that, in his eyes, would lead to full independence for what was now the Irish Free State.
There were many in the south who believed that Collins had betrayed the republican movement. These people wanted an independent and united Ireland.
The Dáil accepted the treaty by just seven votes. This, in itself, seemed a justification of what Collins had set out to achieve. Arthur Griffiths replaced De Valera as president of the Dáil and Collins was appointed chairman of the provisional government which would take over Ireland once the British had left.
On August 22nd, 1922 - the IKC had been formed earlier that year - Collins journeyed to County Cork where he was due to meet troops of the new Irish Army. His car was ambushed at Beal na mBlath and Collins was shot dead. No-one else was killed in the ambush. Collins' body lay in state in Dublin for three days and thousands paid their respects. Thousands also lined the streets for his funeral procession.
Collins was a keen ‘Irish Blue’ enthusiast and regularly exhibited at breed shows in the early 1920s at a time when many thought it was dangerous for him to do so. History also records that it was prominent members of the Irish Blue Terrier Club that placed an advert in a Dublin newspaper seeking like minded people to form a kennel club in Ireland - the same year that the breed saw CC status at the Great Joint Terrier Show and Cruft’s in England.
The IKC’s first championship show was held on March 17th 1922 when the breed turned in the top entry of 257.