Michael Collins

Over 30 acres of fields used for parking at Béal na Bláth

August 29th, 2022 4:00 PM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Thousands lined the fields overlooking the ambush memorial at Béal na Bláth. (Photo: Denis Boyle)

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ORGANISERS of last Sunday’s ceremony to commemorate the centenary of the death of Michael Collins at Béal na Bláth have expressed their delight at the smooth running of the event.

An estimated 12,000 people attended, with many availing of shuttle buses from Kilmurry and Crookstown.

Nearby fields – 34 acres in total – were turned into car parks, with all but one ending up being full.

Cllr Garret Kelleher, chairperson of the Michael Collins Commemoration Committee, said they were delighted that everything went according to plan.

‘It was a very successful commemoration which saw huge crowds come to remember Michael Collins and those who were present enjoyed the day and got home safely,’ said Garret.

‘With such a large crowd anticipated, safety was our main concern and we want to thank West Cork Civil Defence and our emergency services, including the gardaí and ambulance service as well as stewards and volunteers for making it so successful too,’ he added.

Garret also thanked local landowners for their generosity and co-operation in facilitating this year’s ceremony as well as the hard work carried out by the commemoration committee and the work of both Cork County Council and the various government departments.

Following the ceremony, the committee, along with An Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, held a function in Mai Fitz’s in nearby Lissarda.

‘Both leaders made presentations on behalf of our committee  to two of our long-serving committee members, Dermot Collins from Kinsale and Frank Metcalfe from Ovens, who were also former chairpersons of the committee. We also made presentations to both Micheál Martin and Leo Varadkar.’

Plans are already in place for next year’s ceremony, although it is unlikely to draw the huge attendances recorded this year.

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