50 years after the death of Michael Collins commemoration ceremonies are held at Béal na mBláth in Cork.

The ceremonies held at Béal na Bláth near Crookstown include Minister for Defence Jerry Cronin laying a wreath at the Michael Collins monument. For the first time since 1957 years the Irish Army is officially represented at the ceremonies, and a guard of honour of the regular Defence Force pay tribute to Collins in full military ceremony.

This is followed by the traditional commemoration ceremony at the spot where Michael Collins was shot on 22 August 1922. A guard of honour of veterans parade, and this is followed by an oration, on this occasion delivered by former Fine Gael Taoiseach, John A Costello.

I still recall the thrill which I experienced when I saw in the early months of nineteen-hundred-and-twenty-two, going through College Green, the small detachment of soldiers dressed in the uniform of an Irish Army for the first time.

As Michael Collins was the first Commander-in-Chief of the Irish Army, Mr Costello notes it is with pride and pleasure that a detachment of the Irish Army are present at the commemoration to join in honouring and remembering the man who was responsible for the right of the Irish nation to have its own army, and for the foundation of such an army.

The only legitimate army of an Irish Republic, founded on and subject to an Irish Parliament and broadly based upon the will of the Irish people.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 20 August 1972.