MICHAEL D HIGGINS is to travel to Co Cork this month for a commemoration ceremony marking the centenary of a major War of Independence ambush.
The president will attend the event which will take place at the site of the Clonmult Ambush near Midleton, where 12 IRA men were killed and two were later sentenced to death by British forces on February 20, 1921.
The ambush nearly wiped out the entire East Cork flying column.
The community-organised Clonmult Ambush Commemoration Committee first pitched the idea of building a replica of the battle site at its location in 2017.
Work finished on the monument last year with the help of Cork County Council.
However, the 100-year commemoration and unveiling ceremony planned for 2021 had to be postponed due to the pandemic.
The ceremony will now take place on February 20 at 1.30pm.
Speaking to The Echo, Tim O’Sullivan, head of the Clonmult Ambush Commemoration Committee, said that organisers are delighted that Mr Higgins will speak on the day.
“We did a virtual commemoration last year but we are thrilled to be able to do it in person this year,” said Mr O’Sullivan.
“It’s a great honour to have President Higgins attend but even more so for the men who died.”
The President will unveil the monument during the ceremony, where family members of the men who were in the house during the ambush will also place replicas of a historic commemorative cross made by IRA prisoners on the site.
“We have a son of one of the men who was in the house on the day and nieces and nephews of others who were killed attending,” said Mr O’Sullivan.
“We have people coming from New York, Boston, the UK, and all parts of Ireland.
“It will be very special,” he added.