Collins monument is attracting array of trinkets and even stones

February 16th, 2023 5:45 PM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Some of the items left at the base of the Michael Collins monument in Béal na Bláth and, right, the stones at the site.

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AN unusual collection of stones, alongside various trinkets, rosary beads, flowers and even a koala bar key ring are among the many things left at the Michael Collins monument in Béal na Bláth recently – and now there are calls for a clean-up of the site.

Collins was assassinated at Béal na Bláth on August 22nd 1922 and the centenary of his killing was marked last summer where an estimated 12,000 people attended the ceremony, which was addressed by the then Taoiseach Micheál Martin and the then Tánaiste Leo Varadkar.

But it seems the site has become a victim of its own success, with a huge increase in the numbers of people visiting since the summer. 

The area has been significantly upgraded, made more visitor-friendly and now has dedicated car parking.

A toy koala bear hangs off a rosary bead on the Michael Collins monument in Béal na Bláth

One local man said that because of the significance of the monument it ought to be kept tidy and visitors should respect it by not leaving behind anything, especially trinkets.

As well as flowers, miniature statues, holy water bottles, candles and rosary beads, numerous small stones have recently been placed around the base of the monument. 

It’s not clear why these small stones have been left on the monument but in some cultures such placements are seen as a mark of respect. 

In some countries, stones are placed on the graves of war heroes or other very important individuals.

Cork County Council was contacted for a comment.

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