Thursday 22 February 2018

'Iconic WWI truce inspired generations'

Fifth Iveagh House Commemorative lecture Former President, Professor Mary McAleese. Picture shows, from left, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, TD , British Foreign Secretary, Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP , former President, Professor Mary McAleese and her husband Dr Martin Mc Aleese with the Island of Ireland peace choir.
Fifth Iveagh House Commemorative lecture Former President, Professor Mary McAleese. Picture shows, from left, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, TD , British Foreign Secretary, Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP , former President, Professor Mary McAleese and her husband Dr Martin Mc Aleese with the Island of Ireland peace choir.
John Downing

John Downing

THE celebrated Christmas 1914 truce of World War I is special because soldiers on all sides disregarded orders, uniforms and militarism to recognise each others' humanity.

That was the message of former President Mary McAleese, who delivered a speech at the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin last night to commemorate the iconic event, which included Irish soldiers from a wide variety of British army regiments.

Ms McAleese said the shared moments of camaraderie were an inspiration to many future generations and it remained one of the enduring stories of the otherwise most vicious slaughter.

"It is today a fearsome challenge and admonition, a powerful reminder of man-made political and spiritual failure on an epic scale," Ms McAleese said.

Irish Independent

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