Sunday 4 December 2016

Collins and Griffith honoured by ministers and the Defence Forces

Published 17/08/2015 | 02:30

Members of the Defence Forces take part in the commemoration ceremony at Glasnevin
Cemetery yesterday
Members of the Defence Forces take part in the commemoration ceremony at Glasnevin Cemetery yesterday
Sliabh na mBan, an armoured car that formed part of Michael Collins’ convoy on the day he was killed. Photos: Fergal Phillips
Patricia Condren from Sutton, Dublin, who’s uncle Luke Condren is buried beside Michael Collins
Minister for State Simon Harris lays a wreath at Arthur Griffith’s grave in Glasnevin Cemetery yesterday. Photo: Fergal Phillips

Members of the Defence Forces and ministers took part in a commemoration ceremony to honour two founders of the Free State, Arthur Griffith and Michael Collins. The 93rd annual commemoration at Glasnevin Cemetery was attended by more than 200 people.

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Sliabh na mBan, an armoured car that formed part of Michael Collins' convoy on the day he was killed, was brought to the event by the Defence Forces.

The convoy was ambushed at Béal na mBláth in West Cork on August 22, 1922.

Mr Griffith, who died of natural causes 10 days before Collins, had founded Sinn Féin and led the Irish delegation which agreed the Anglo-Irish Treaty in 1921.

Wreaths were laid at their graves by Junior Finance Minister Simon Harris and Jobs Minister Richard Bruton, both of Fine Gael.

Mr Harris said that such commemorations had taken on extra importance ahead of the 1916 centenary.

"It is also very important that we commemorate all of those involved in making Irish independence a reality, regardless of people's political persuasion or political outlook," he said.

"Commemorations like this are not about deciding whose points were right or whose were wrong. It is about recognising all the people who played a role in making this a reality today,."

Members of the Defence Forces led the participants to each of the graves, marching with a piper and drummer after raising a Tricolour.

Extracts from Mr Griffith's speech to the Dáil after the agreement of the Treaty were read at his graveside, while a poem about Michael Collins' death, by Shane Leslie, was read at his memorial.

Irish Independent

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