Despite its small size, the town has garnered prestigious acclaim for its environmentalism.
People Born in Clonakilty
Clonakilty in People's Lives
Michael Collins - I was born here in 1890, the youngest of eight children. I was born just outside this town in the Sam's Cross, countryside area. Our beloved 90 acre farm, which had been in the family for three generations, was called Woodfield. My father was a farmer, but there was so much more to him than that. Passionate and intellectual, he was also a mathematician and a political activist. My family was a close-knit, large, and happy one. We were part of an ancient clan and republican connections that could be traced back to the 1798 Rebellion. Throughout the county, we were known as intellectual over-achievers. In 1896, when I was 6 years old, my father died, saying on his deathbed to the family "Take care of Michael. One day he'll be a great man. He'll do good work for Ireland." Deeply moved by this prophecy, I knew then that I would live up to my father's dreams for me. As a child, I was intelligent, precocious, and had a fiery temper. The youngest in a family of vivacious personalities, I always made sure that I was never left out, and was always eager to take on tasks beyond my years. I grew up raised on stories of Ireland and nationalism, practically raised to be involved in politics. I would later name a local blacksmith and my schoolteacher as my first inspirations in this regard. When I was 13, in 1903, I began attending a school in town, staying with an older sister and returning home to the family farm on weekends. I began working for a newspaper that was owned by my sister's husband. In 1906, at the age of 15, I moved to Cork to pursue a career in politics.