Thursday 23 May 2019

Ceremony at sunrise remembers dead

Piper Brian MacMahon
Piper Brian MacMahon
Mattie Ryan, Darragh Mackey and James Ryan from New Ross

From across the district around 80 people woke early and made their way to St Mary's Church in New Ross for a special ceremony marking the centenary of the signing of the Armistice between the Allies and the Germans on Sunday.

Passing a plaque featuring a roll of honour of men from the area who fought and died in 'The Great War', the people sat and listened to piper Brian MacMahon play When The Battle is O'er and another tune from the World War I era.

Rev Ivan Dungan welcomed everyone, saying: 'I haven't seen the church this full at this hour of the day ever. This is a once-in-a-lifetime thing. It's something to experience and to say you were there this morning. It's very fitting and very moving to do it as people are gathering all over the world at 6 a.m. local time to mark the Armistice.'

He pointed to two large grey stone plaques in the church where the names of local men who died in the war were commemorated. Brian said 2,500 pipers were performing When The Battle is O'er around the world. Afterwards everyone gathered - both inside and outside the church - sipping tea to stave off the cold, chatting and recalling relations, men from across the district from Graiguenamanagh to the Hook Peninsula, the men of New Ross and surrounding villages, who fought and died in fields, in trenches, in the sea and in the air and on beaches across Europe in the war.

New Ross Standard