Europe

Michael D Higgins delivers speech at Michael Collins anniversary

Michael D Higgins Image copyright RTÉ
Image caption President Higgins said it was a "great pleasure" to deliver the speech in Cork on Sunday

Irish President Michael D Higgins has become the first sitting head of state to deliver the oration at a commemoration of the life of Michael Collins, RTÉ reports.

The then commander-in-chief of the Irish army was killed in an ambush by anti-treaty IRA forces in August 1922.

President Higgins said it was a "great pleasure" to deliver the speech in Cork on Sunday.

He said no side in the Irish Civil War had a monopoly on "atrocity or virtue".

Image copyright National Army Museum
Image caption Michael Collins was killed in an ambush by anti-treaty IRA forces in August 1922

"The memory of Michael Collins will forever be enmeshed with that of the tragic and bloody civil war which raged on this island throughout the years 1922-1923," he said.

"This was a dreadful human tragedy for so many Irish families.

"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."

Related Topics