(Note: This post may be updated annually, with the date of the current year’s commemoration & other info. Thanks for visiting!)
Michael Collins was one of the founding fathers of modern Ireland: soldier and statesman, chief strategist of the War of Independence, and co-author of the Constitution. His official titles at various times included Chairman of the Provisional Government, Minister for Finance, Director of Intelligence, and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces.
Why have people gathered at Béal na mBláth, every year, since he died there in August 1922?
While his birth, in a remote country farmhouse, caused no stir, yet his death sent shockwaves around the world and down generations; which reverberate to this day.
Annual Michael Collins Commemoration
Sunday 25 August 3PM
by the monument, at the ambush site
Béal na mBláth
near Crookstown, County Cork
Republic of Ireland
“…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) **
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 Former President Mary Robinson, as well as (Collns’ grandnieces) former legislator Helen Collins, and former Minister for Justice Nora Owen (now presenter of TV3’s “Midweek”). Recent years have seen the first time the oration has been given by Ireland’s serving President and by the Taoiseach (Prime Minister).
If you’re a Michael Collins fan, and you’re in Ireland in August, it’s not to be missed.
Visit the Commemoration website:
Commemorative edition: 90th Anniversary pictorial history
** Read the rest of Mary Banotti’s chapter in
“Michael Collins and the Making of the Irish State”
(Gabriel Doherty & Dermot Keogh, editors)
Read more: ***
“The Assassination of Michael Collins:
What Happened At Béal na mBláth?”
by S M Sigerson
(Paperback or Kindle)
For all other e-reader formats: