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athgarvan

WW1 and Ireland

As we begin the centenary of the start of the "Great War" we in Ireland have only now begun to face the facts. In 1914, Ireland was still under the boot of Great Britain but there were serious rumblings of resistance which broke out into open rebellion in 1916. In spite of this, thousands of young Irishmen (it is said 100,000) for various reasons, joined the British Army to help in the war effort. More than 800 Wexford men died in the trenches of the Somme, in the mud of Flanders, and in naval engagements. When the war ended, however, there was no triumphal welcome home for those who survived.

In 1996, however, the President of Ireland and the Queen of England dedicated a memorial at Messines in Belgium to all the Irish people who had fallen in WW1. It was only a few months ago that Wexford took the huge step of, at last, acknowledging the sacrifices made by its own young men and officially marked the deaths of the war dead in Redmond Square. On 19th Dec last  the British Prime Minister David Cameron and the Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny (below) together visited the WW1 memorials in Flanders and spent three hours acknowledging the sacrifice of the war dead from each other's country.

kennycameron

Comments

We English aren't all bad, you know? Or maybe we are by definition of the nation we happened to be born in. I apologise for the atrocities England committed long before my birth (and since).
I am so moved. Weeping, as I write this.
That seems really odd. Was there some official reason for not acknowledging the war dead? :o
Glad to hear it was finally done now.
Hugs, Jon
People (even their own families) considered it disloyal, a betrayal, to fight on the side of the "enemy" when a rebellion was afoot in their own country.
WOW, that is sad. :o
This is FANTASTIC! And about time too, as you mentioned. I hope these men talked about the sacrifice of not only these men, but their families.