Date Published : August 17th, 2014 Published By : admin17.08.14 1900hrs
The Defence Forces have taken part at the 92nd annual commemoration in Dublin’s Glasnevin cemetery today. This is the first time in many years that the Defence Forces have taken part in these commemorations which honour founders of the Free State Arthur Griffith and Michael Collins.
Mr Griffith, who died on August 12th 1922, also founded Sinn Féin and had led the Irish delegation which agreed the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921. General Collins, who was killed at Béal na Bláth in west Cork on August 22nd 1922, was commander in chief of the Free State army.
Among those attending today was the Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald, Minister of State Simon Harris, and former Minister for Justice and grand-niece of Michael Collins Nora Owen.
A wreath was laid on Arthur Griffith’s grave by Dr Risteárd Mulcahy whose father Dick Mulcahy took over command of the Free State army on the death of Michael Collins.
Minister Fitzgerald laid the wreath on the grave of Michael Collins and welcomed the fact that the Defence Forces were there today. The Minister said: “It’s really important. When we see the challenges to democracy around the world it’s very important to come and honour, as the memorial says, the founding fathers of Irish democracy. We need to value it”.
She added “What we are honouring today are the foundations of our State. I come from a military family myself and clearly our army plays a very important role in international peace keeping, indeed peace enforcement. That’s part and parcel of what we are”.
Pic: Irish Defence Forces