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Cameron aide in call to honour war dead

IRELAND and Britain should put their differences aside and make sure Irishmen are recognised during WWI ceremonies, says Prime Minister David Cameron's special advisor.

Dr Andrew Murrison MP visited Cork yesterday where he was shown a list of UCC graduates who died between 1914 and 1918.

More than 49,000 Irish died in the conflict and Dr Murrison said it would be "extraordinary...and ridiculous" if Ireland wasn't involved in the centenary commemorations.

He added that the event offers an unique chance to promote reconciliation, understanding and cultural exchanges between various countries including Ireland and the UK.

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"The entire point about this, to be accurate and honest to the historical record, we have to do this together ... both Ireland and the UK," he said.

"At that time we were together at that time in what is now called the Commonwealth. It would be extraordinary if we were simply to neglect or forget that."

Dr Murrison said that strong Anglo-Irish relations have already seen an Irish peace memorial opened in Flanders by Queen Elizabeth II and then-President Mary McAleese.

He also said that last November's visit by Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Mr Cameron to the Messines (Belgium) memorial was of tremendous symbolic importance.

Dr Murrison was speaking as he launched a landmark conference Ireland and World War I in University College Cork (UCC).

hnews@herald.ie


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