Villiers lays stone for Irish war dead

Published Monday, 31 March 2014
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Northern Ireland Secretary of State Theresa Villiers has helped lay the foundation stone for a monumental cross of sacrifice in Dublin in honour of soldiers who lost their lives in the two world wars.

Villiers lays stone for Irish war dead
NI Secretary of State Theresa Villiers. (© Pacemaker)

She jointly laid the stone with Irish Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan TD.

The cross is being erected by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, supported by the Irish government, to mark the centenary of the First World War and commemorate the sacrifice of all Irish soldiers who lost their lives in the World Wars.

The event forms part of a wider programme of visits and events attended by UK and Irish ministers to mark the centenary and the decade of commemorations in Ireland.

Speaking in advance, Ms Villiers said: "It is a great honour for me to attend this event and lay the foundation stone for this new Cross of Sacrifice.

"I can think of no better setting for a memorial to remember the tens of thousands of Irishmen who made the ultimate sacrifice during the World Wars."

She continued: "The choice of Glasnevin for this monument, as with the other Crosses of Sacrifice throughout the world, is very much in keeping with what the design symbolises, the Cross representing the faith of the majority of the dead, and the sword representing the military character of the cemetery.

"Soon people from both Northern and Southern Ireland will have a place to come together in quiet contemplation to pay tribute to the memory of those, from across the whole island of Ireland, who gave so much for our freedom."

Ms Villiers also met Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore and attended an address by the Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

© UTV News
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2 Comments
Melons in Down wrote (113 days ago):
Nice, appropriate gesture.
Sam1690 in Ballysillan wrote (113 days ago):
It's great to see this maturing of attitude from ROI Govt. Untill last year those Irishmen who left Ireland to fight Nazi Germany in WW2 had no apology for how they were ostricised on their return, never mind a permanent memorial. Seems since we gave ROI a bailout from UK treasury the diplomatic relations have warmed considerably.
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