Both the Taoiseach Michaél Martin and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar will address the annual Béal na Blá commemoration in Cork this year marking the 100th anniversary of the death of General Michael Collins.

It will be the first time a Fianna Fáil Taoiseach and leader will address the gathering which marks the ambush and killing of Collins at the age of 31 years in West Cork on 22 August 1922, in the early months of the Civil War.

Accepting the invitation from the Michael Collins Commemoration Committee, the Taoiseach said 2022 is an important and sensitive year for commemorations and that it is fitting they come together to commemorate the centenary of Collins' death.

"Throughout our country, we have hundreds of places where the decisive moments and personalities of our revolution are marked," he said.

"One such place is Béal na Blá which has a resonance that will last for centuries capturing as it does the tragedy of a lost leader, the lost hopes and dreams of an individual who achieved so much in his short lifetime.

"The name instantly brings to mind the tragedy and loss of the towering figure of Michael Collins and it is fitting that we come together to commemorate the centenary of his death."

Accepting his invitation, the Tánaiste and leader of Fine Gael, said it is important to remember that there was nothing "inevitable about the creation of the Irish Free State or its survival".

He said Michael Collins was instrumental in shaping the Irish State and to him "he is first among equals among its founders."

"Many other European States have come and gone since then," Mr Varadkar said.

"Only a handful have had a hundred years of democracy and the rule of law.

"During the course of the 20th century, the Baltic States gained their independence, lost it, and then gained it again.

"Thirty years ago, Ukraine became self-governing for the second time – and we do not need any reminders about the attempts being made to take that away again.

"Michael Collins was instrumental in shaping our State, to me, he is first among equals among its founders.

"He strove, always, to do what was best for the future of our nation and took enormous risks for peace.

"He was both brave and pragmatic. He understood that once gains were made and consolidated more could be achieved."

The Michael Collins Commemoration Committee chairman, FG Councillor Garret Kelleher, said they are delighted and honoured to have two speakers of the calibre of the Taoiseach and the Tánaiste speaking at the centenary commemoration.

The annual commemoration takes place on the Sunday closest to 22 August. This year it will take place on Sunday 21 August .

Thousands of people are expected to attend this year's centenary commemoration with Cork County Council currently undertaking restoration and site improvement works to improve access and facilities at the site.