30 May 2022
By Tom Collins
2022 is 100 years since 1922 – a key year in the Irish Independence story
The Taoiseach, Mícheál Martin T.D. and the Tánaiste, Leo Varadkar T.D. have both accepted invitations from the Michael Collins Commemoration Committee to speak at the in-person 2022 Centenary Commemoration of the death of Michael Collins – www.michaelcollinscommemoration.ie – which will take place at Béal na Blá in Cork on Sunday, August 21st.
Speaking ahead of the event, the Taoiseach, Mícheál Martin said:
‘I thank the Michael Collins Commemoration Committee for their kind invitation to address the Centenary Commemoration in August this year and I commend them for their dedicated work on the organisation of the Annual Commemoration down through the years.
2022 is an important and sensitive year for commemorations as we remember the centenary of the onset of the Civil War. Throughout our country, we have hundreds of places where the decisive moments and personalities of our revolution are marked. One such place is Béal na Blá which has a resonance that will last for centuries capturing as it does the tragedy of a lost leader, the lost hopes and dreams of an individual who achieved so much in his short lifetime. The name instantly brings to mind the tragedy and loss of the towering figure of Michael Collins, and it is fitting that we come together to commemorate the centenary of his death.’
In accepting the invitation to speak at the commemoration, Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar said:
“The Irish State of which we are all so proud was founded one hundred years ago. It makes 2022 one of the most important years in our decade of commemorations. As we reflect on our history, it’s important to remember that there was nothing inevitable about the creation of the Irish Free State or its survival. Many other European States have come and gone since then. Only a handful have had a hundred years of democracy and the rule of law. During the course of the 20th century, the Baltic States gained their independence, lost it, and then gained it again. Thirty years ago, Ukraine became self-governing for the second time – and we do not need any reminders about the attempts being made to take that away again.
Michael Collins was instrumental in shaping our State. To me, he is first among equals among its founders. He strove, always, to do what was best for the future of our nation and took enormous risks for peace. He was both brave and pragmatic. He understood that once gains were made and consolidated more could be achieved. It will be a profound honour to speak at the Michael Collins Commemoration in August and reflect on his legacy 100 years after his death. In accepting this invitation, I want to thank the Michael Collins Commemoration Committee for the decades of dedication shown by them and their predecessors to the memory of Michael Collins.”
The Commemoration Committee is working closely with Cork County Council, An Garda Síochána, the Department of Defence and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media in advance of this year’s centenary commemoration, which it expects will see a record attendance at Béal na Blá.
Speaking on behalf of the committee, Chairperson, Garret Kelleher said “we are delighted and honoured that two speakers of the calibre of the Taoiseach and the Tánaiste have accepted our invitation to speak at the centenary commemoration. We are very much looking forward to welcoming them, members of the extended Collins family and many visitors to Béal na Blá in August for what we hope will be a commemoration that befits the occasion and pays due honour to one of Ireland’s greatest leaders.”