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Wednesday 17 September 2014

President and Taoiseach lead tributes to Irish war dead

Published 13/07/2014 | 13:35

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President Michael D. Higgins lays a wreath during an interfaith service of commemoration at Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dubli, on the National Day of Commemoration in honour of all those Irishmen and Irishwomen who died in past wars or on service with the United Nations
President Michael D. Higgins lays a wreath during an interfaith service of commemoration at Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dubli, on the National Day of Commemoration in honour of all those Irishmen and Irishwomen who died in past wars or on service with the United Nations
Former member of the defence forces Martin Murphy, from Wexford, displays his medals ahead of an interfaith service of commemoration at Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dubli, on the National Day of Commemoration in honour of all those Irishmen and Irishwomen who died in past wars or on service with the United Nations. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday July 13, 2014. See PA story IRISH War. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Former member of the defence forces Martin Murphy, from Wexford, displays his medals ahead of an interfaith service of commemoration at Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dubli, on the National Day of Commemoration in honour of all those Irishmen and Irishwomen who died in past wars or on service with the United Nations. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday July 13, 2014. See PA story IRISH War. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Former Irish Ranger Ron Hammond attends an interfaith service of commemoration at Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dubli, on the National Day of Commemoration in honour of all those Irishmen and Irishwomen who died in past wars or on service with the United Nations. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday July 13, 2014. See PA story IRISH War. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Former Irish Ranger Ron Hammond attends an interfaith service of commemoration at Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dubli, on the National Day of Commemoration in honour of all those Irishmen and Irishwomen who died in past wars or on service with the United Nations

THE President and Taoiseach have led celebrations for the National Day of Commemoration.

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A special ceremony was held at the Royal Hospital in Kilmainham in Dublin in honour of all Irishmen and Irishwomen who died in past wars or on service with the United Nations.

A laurel wreath in their honour was laid by President Michael D Higgins on behalf of the Irish people.

Amongst those in attendance were cabinet members, diplomats and veterans from many armies - including the UN, the French Foreign Legion, the British army, the American Legion and the Canadian forces.

The Taoiseach Enda Kenny addressed veterans and guests, saying that this year in particular we remember all those who died in the Great War.

Prayers were said by church leaders of all the major faiths.

In a prayer, Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, The Right Reverend Dr Michael Barry said that at this time of anniversaries, we recall that our history is marked with conflicts.

In this year we especially remember the Battle of Clontarf and the beginning of the First World War, he said.

Afterwards, veteran Desmond Branigan (96) formerly of the Merchant Navy said the commemorations had brought back memories of his shipmates who were torpedoed in the Atlantic while ferrying supplies during the Second World War.

His colleague Tony O'Grady of Irish Shipping said it was an emotional day for everyone.

And with this the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the Great War, there are very few to remember, he said.

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