Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Michael Collins Commemoration.

50.

Mr. Dunne

asked the Minister for Defence if he will authorise the Army to attend the Michael Collins commemoration ceremonies at Béal na Bláth as he has repeatedly invited Deputies from all parties to attend the Easter Week ceremonies at Arbour Hill.

It is not proposed that the Army should attend the ceremonies at Béal na mBláth.

As explained in reply to previous questions, it is the policy, in order to avoid difficulties which would arise in selecting individual anniversaries in commemorating which the State might participate, that a special day, Easter Sunday, should be set apart on which the State should celebrate the securing of Independence and honour all who took part in the struggle to achieve it. The only variation of this policy is the Annual State Commemoration at Arbour Hill for those who died in 1916.