Wednesday 28 September 2016

'Civil War centenary will take courage'

Published 22/08/2016 | 02:30

President Michael D Higgins speaking at the Béal na mBláth commemoration in Co Cork Photo: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
President Michael D Higgins speaking at the Béal na mBláth commemoration in Co Cork Photo: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

President Michael D Higgins warned that Ireland must show both courage and honesty in the centenaries of the traumatic events of the War of Independence and Civil War.

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The appeal came as President Higgins became the first serving president to deliver the General Michael Collins oration at Béal na mBláth in west Cork.

The former Galway TD delivered the oration yesterday to mark the 94th anniversary of the death of the former IRA commander and Free State finance minister.

President Higgins said Ireland must take note of the generosity of spirit displayed by the Collins family in their handling of the destruction of their family home during the War of Independence, the circumstances of the death of General Collins and the aftermath of the Civil War.

"When the time comes, very soon, to commemorate those events of the early 1920s, we will need to display courage and honesty as we seek to speak the truth of the period, and in recognising that, during the War of Independence, and particularly during the Civil War, no single side had the monopoly of either atrocity or virtue," he said.

He noted that the Collins family, despite all they had suffered during that period, never lost sight of Ireland's greater need.

Irish Independent

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