Fine Gael Minister for Justice, Social Protection, Community and Rural Development and the Islands Heather Humphreys is set to deliver the oration at the forthcoming Michael Collins commemoration later this month in Béal na Bláth, Co Cork.
Garret Kelleher, chair of the commemoration committee, said Ms Humphreys was a hugely experienced political figure who had proven herself to be a strong voice for rural communities at Cabinet.
“Given the interesting perspective she brings, we very much look forward to welcoming the Minister to Cork and to listening to what she will have to say.”
Last year's event was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Instead, the committee met privately at the monument to lay a wreath and pray for Collins. They also offered prayers for former SDLP leaders John Hume and Séamus Mallon, who both died last year.
The committee is working with Cork County Council and a number of different Government departments in preparation for next year's commemoration ceremony, which will mark the centenary of the death of Collins.
He was killed on August 22nd, 1922, by republicans who ambushed his army convoy at Béal na mBláth as he returned to Cork city from meeting Free State commanders.
A monument was unveiled to him at Béal na mBláth in 1925 and commemorations have taken place annually at the site since the 1930s on the anniversary of the ambush.