Dáil poppy 'symbolic gesture' for TD

Published Tuesday, 06 November 2012
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A Fine Gael TD has worn a Remembrance poppy in the Dáil to commemorate all those from across the island of Ireland who fought and died in the Great Wars.

Dáil poppy 'symbolic gesture' for TD
Poppies are used as a symbol of remembrance. (© Getty)

Frank Feighan, TD for Roscommon/South Leitrim, said it was sad that it had taken so long for the contribution of thousands of Irish soldiers to start to be recognised.

"Thankfully, a new political dawn in this country has allowed us to move on from the divisions of the past and that is why I will walk into the Dáil wearing the poppy," he said.

Almost 250,000 Irish men fought in the First World War and around 50,000 were killed in action, while tens of thousands also fought in the Second World War and an estimated 3,600 were killed.

Poppies grew in the fields where the battles and slaughter took place - a place where many Irish men are now buried.

Frank Feighan, Fine Gael

"In my own town of Boyle, the historic King House served as a barracks for the Connaught Rangers," Mr Feighan said, speaking about the regiments who fought during the First World War.

Last week, in his capacity as chair of the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly, he called for a joint British-Irish approach to First World War commemorations.

"Thankfully, over the last two decades, we have arrived at a point where the poppy is no longer a controversial symbol in this country," Mr Feighan said.

"For me, wearing the poppy in the Dáil is a symbolic gesture to not only recognise the Irish men who fought in the Great Wars, but to illustrate how the politics of engagement and not war is the only way forward in solving seemingly intractable conflicts."

Mr Feighan is the first TD to wear a poppy in the Dáil in 16 years.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
Shay in Dublin wrote (809 days ago):
May I suggest maybe wearing the white poppy for some people? Could be more acceptable for them if they disagree with where the money for the red poppy goes. The white poppy symbolises all who lost their lives in war.
R in béal feirste wrote (813 days ago):
Wear a poppy if you want to. If you don't, don't. Don't judge anyone for wearing one or for not wearing one. It's really that simple folks! Why do we have to, year on year, endure numerous articles about such an insignificant topic. If only everyone cared this much about the economy we wouldn't be in the mess that we are.
william in coleraine wrote (814 days ago):
@vic poppies are not worn for the scum of the UDA/UVF ! they are worn for the fallen soldiers of britain and ireland and other countries war dead! your insensitive republican spin is laughable! republicans should learn to respect our culture and beliefs the discrimination of british culture and beliefs is getting worse and worse!
Danny in Belfast wrote (814 days ago):
I think a lot of you are missing the point. If it was just a symbol for the fallen of WWI & WWII I'm sure not many ppl would object to it. However it is a fun raising exercise for the Royal legion which raises money for British veterans not just of the world wars but of the British Army action in NI, and Iraq and Afghanistan, (in which they have killed innocent civilations) which some people don’t support. It is a personal choice at the end of the day but to say its just the heroes of the world war is a fallacy.
whatever in Northern Ireland wrote (814 days ago):
Many people posting here have said shame on the TD for wearing it and refering it to a british symbol what they need to realise is france , canada , uk , belgium and republic of ireland wear the symbol in rememberance to there countrys soilders who died in the poppy fields in france. it is for everyone to wear. get over it and move forward
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