Friday 21 July 2017

Colum Kenny: Poppy marks the sacrifices made by Irish of all creeds

Wearing a poppy would show that Michael D can rise above its misuse, writes Colum Kenny

Two of my Kerry grand-uncles died during the First World War, Stephen in Palestine and Jack at Gallipoli in April 1915. Tattered messages that refer to Jack Murphy survive: "Send reinforcements urgently required. I have no men," and "I am unable to hold out. Send reinforcements. Urgent." Finally, around midnight, comes this one from Sergeant Murphy, "No answer to last message. The wire must be cut. I have sent patrol. Firing is very near."

President Michael D Higgins should this weekend wear a poppy to mark their deaths and the sacrifices of so many other Irishmen in that war. Doing so honours them and is also a gesture of reconciliation with those Irish who today regard themselves as British. Queen Elizabeth bowed her head in the Garden of Remembrance.

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