Lenihan to invoke the spirit of Collins
Groups of Fianna Fail supporters will travel to Cork today to witness Finance Minister Brian Lenihan invoke the spirit of Michael Collins as Ireland faces the greatest economic challenge in its modern history.
Mr Lenihan will become the first senior Fianna Fail figure to deliver the keynote oration at Beal na mBlath, the annual ceremony at the spot where the general was shot and killed in 1922 at the height of the Civil War.
His oration is expected to address the challenges facing Ireland and the need for unity.
Huge crowds are expected at the event given the historic nature of Mr Lenihan's oration, which was extended in recognition of the great courage he has shown in fighting serious illness.
Cllr Dermot Collins, chairman of the Beal na mBlath organising committee, said that it was time the oration, which has been non-political for some time, was delivered by a senior Fianna Fail official.
That decision was also endorsed by former Fine Gael minister Nora Owens, a grand-niece of General Collins, but has been opposed by Fine Gael senator Liam Twomey and Young Fine Gael who blame Fianna Fail governments for the country's financial woes.