“…I grew up with a rich lore of family history and virtually total silence outside the family. … There was never a mention of his name in the discussion of national life, except on the occasion of a visit to Béal na mBláth in August. All of that changed …”
– Mary Banotti (grand-niece of Michael Collins)
Why do we gather at Béal na mBláth?
Michael Collins was one of the founding fathers of modern Ireland. His birth, in a quiet country farmhouse, caused no stir. Yet his death sent shockwaves around the world and down generations; which reverberate to this day.
The anniversary of one’s passing is an occasion very much observed in Irish culture; perhaps more than in any other country. Collins’ belongs to the nation. Yet he also belongs to people all over the world. “Because a story like his is for all people, everywhere, in all times.” **
The Commemoration’s annual oration is always delivered by a national figure of note. These have included Collns’ grandnieces, former legislator Helen Collins, and former Minister for Justice Nora Owen (now presenter of TV3’s “Midweek”); as well as Former President Mary Robinson (now UN Commissioner on climate change.) In 2012, the 90th anniversary marked the first time that the oration was given by a serving Taoiseach.
If you’re a Michael Collins fan, and you’re in Ireland in August, it’s not to be missed.
Visit the Commemoration webiste:
Commemorative edition: 90th Anniversary pictorial history
Read more of Mary Banotti’s chapter in
“Michael Collins and the Making of the Irish State”
(Gabriel Doherty & Dermot Keogh, editors)
** Read more:
of Michael Collins:
What Happened At
Béal na mBláth?”
by S M Sigerson
www.amazon.com/dp/1493784714 (Paperback or Kindle)
For all other e-reader formats: