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Annual Béal na Bláth commemoration cancelled again

August 24th, 2021 11:45 AM

By Kieran O'Mahony

In excess of 100 people gathered for an unofficial commemoration at Béal na Bláth in 2020.

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FOR the second year in a row, the annual Michael Collins Commemoration, that was due to take place at Béal na Bláth last Sunday (August 22nd), was cancelled due to restrictions around outdoor gatherings.

Minister Heather Humphreys, who had been due to deliver this year’s oration, instead delivered her oration online on the 99th anniversary of the death of Michael Collins.

Garret Kelleher, chairperson of the Michael Collins Commemoration Committee, said that due to the ongoing public health concerns, they had no option but to take the decision to cancel the event.

‘Rather than giving an in-person address in front of an assembled crowd at the monument in Béal na Bláth, our guest speaker deliver edthis year’s commemorative oration online on our new website, www.michaelcollinscommemoration.ie,’ said Garret.

‘We apologise for any inconvenience caused to those who had planned to travel to attend the commemoration, but trust that people will understand why this decision had to be taken. We very much look forward to welcoming supporters and visitors back to Béal na Bláth for the centenary commemoration next year.’

Minister Humphreys, who said it was an honour to have been asked to deliver the oration, said it was disappointing that the annual commemoration could not take place last year, due to the pandemic.

‘I want to acknowledge the efforts of the local committee who have worked hard to ensure that the event can he held remotely this year,’ she said.

Last year two other groups  – The National Party and Síol na h-Éireann – held separate commemoration events at the site when the official commemoration was cancelled. Gardaí said at the time that no laws were broken as the guidelines for outdoor gatherings at the time were not ‘legally enforceable’.

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