It's time we honoured the dead of Great War – President
PRESIDENT Michael D Higgins has urged Ireland to properly commemorate all of its soldiers who died in World War I.
He made this year's centenary of the outbreak of World War I one of the central themes of his address as he accepted the Freedom of Cork.
"It is important we recognise that the suffering and loss of those terrible years, which includes the carnage of World War I, was experienced disproportionately across the island," he said.
"Cork lost great numbers of men fighting for the Munster Fusiliers at Gallipoli and on the Western Front.
"Cork also suffered the worst of the fighting in both the War of Independence and the Civil War, which left a tragic legacy.
"The people of this city carry in their folk memory a deep knowledge of the price that was paid for the freedom of our nation."
He said that modern Anglo-Irish relations mean that soldiers who died during the Great War should be remembered with honour.
Speaking at a gala ceremony in Cork City Hall, the President said he was particularly delighted to accept the Freedom of Cork in a building graced by such patriots as Terence MacSwiney and Tomas MacCurtain.
The President said his family had strong Cork links, with his father spending time on Leeside during the War of Independence.