Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar will both attend the site of the Béal na Blá ambush in August to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the death of Michael Collins.

It will mark the first time that a Fianna Fáil Taoiseach will attend the commemoration.

Martin accepted an invitation to the commemoration from the Michael Collins Commemoration Committee and said it was fitting that people come together to mark the centenary of Collins' death in a year of sensitive commemorations. 

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

"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." 

Thousands of people are expected to attend this year's commemoration, which will take place on Sunday, August 21, one day before the anniversary of Collins' death. 

Collins was shot dead in his native Cork by members of the anti-treaty IRA in the early days of the Civil War. The Irish revolutionary was the sole casualty of the IRA ambush at the isolated crossroads of Béal na Blá (the mouth of flowers). 

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said Collins was instrumental in shaping the future of the Irish state, noting that Ireland was one of few European nations that maintained democracy over the past 100 years. 

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

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

Cork County Council is currently carrying out restoration work at the monument marking the site of the ambush. The council is also working to improve access and site facilities.