POET Seamus Heaney led a solemn tribute to the six million victims of the Holocaust and its survivors at a special memorial service last night marking Holocaust Memorial Day.
The Nobel laureate and guest of honour read an excerpt from his poem 'A Sofa in the Forties' decrying the vast ignorance that surrounded the annihilation of the Jews.
It was part of a series of readings, prayers and musical interludes marking the annual commemoration of the liberation of the Nazi death camps at Aushwitz and Birkenau on January 27, 1945.
Holocaust survivor Suzi Diamond, who was rescued from a death camp with her brother and brought to Ireland, said there are only three Holocaust survivors now living in Ireland, following her brother's death last year. "It is important that we pass it on to our children and our children's children," she said.
Justice Minister Brian Lenihan paid tribute to the survivors, vowing the commemoration would remain an important date on the Irish calender.