Centenary events to commemorate outbreak of Civil War, death of Michael Collins

Commemoration for all who died in Irish Civil War to take place on ‘neutral date’

The outbreak of the Irish Civil War and the deaths of Michael Collins and Arthur Griffith are among the main events to be commemorated in the 2022 decade of centenaries programme.

The Government has announced a State commemoration will be held in remembrance “of all those who lost their lives” during the Civil War, which followed a split over whether to accept or reject the Anglo-Irish Treaty establishing the Irish Free State, after the War of Independence with Britain.

The commemoration will be held “on a neutral date”, yet to be confirmed, and will focus on “remembrance and reconciliation,” the Government has said.

Other major events in the centenary programme this year include the death of Collins and the death of Griffith. The latter chaired the delegation which negotiated the treaty with Britain.


University College Cork is to host a conference on the Civil War over four days in June, to discuss various aspects of the bitter conflict.

A programme of events is being organised to mark the centenary of the establishment of An Garda Síochána, as well as the destruction of the Public Record Office of Ireland.

The National Museum of Ireland is to put on an exhibition around the disbandment of the British Army's Irish regiments, such as the Royal Irish Regiment, the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, and the Connaught Rangers.

The Government said the historical programme would seek to remember the “complex and still painful period in our history”, while acknowledging the “legitimacy of all traditions”.

Discussions to be included in the centenaries programme include; a military analysis of why the pro-Treaty side won the Civil War, a reassessment of the career of Arthur Griffith, and a debate about Michael Collins, asking whether he became “a military dictator” in the weeks before he was killed in an ambush at Béal na Bláth in August 1922.

The Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht has been allocated €5 million to support the commemorative programme for the coming year.

Jack Power

Jack Power

Jack Power is acting Europe Correspondent of The Irish Times