Ireland's Prime Minister Enda Kenny Photo by: AFP

Enda Kenny and leading politicians to attend Remembrance Day event in Northern Ireland


Ireland's Prime Minister Enda Kenny Photo by: AFP

Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny will attend a Remembrance Day ceremony in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland on Sunday. The County Fermanagh town, which was hit by two of the worst bombing outrages in the history of the Troubles, will mark the 25th anniversary of the IRA Poppy Day bomb blast that claimed 12 lives.

According to the BBC on the same day an Irish government minister will participate in the annual Remembrance Day service for the war dead in Belfast, for the first time in the history of the state.

Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore is scheduled to lay a wreath at Belfast City Hall cenotaph. The annual Belfast ceremony is jointly organized by Belfast City Council and the Royal British Legion.

In January of this year the council passed an unprecedented resolution inviting the Irish government to participate in events to mark both the anniversary of Battle of the Somme and Remembrance Sunday.

On 1 July Irish Minister for Transport Alan Kelly became the first member of the Republic's government to take part in the annual Somme commemorations at Belfast City Hall. Kelly laid a laurel wreath at the cenotaph in memory 'of those lost a the Battle of the Somme, on behalf of the government of Ireland.'

Speaking at the the ceremony at the time, Kelly said it was important to 'acknowledge the sacrifices that have been made, not just in this jurisdiction but also the Republic.' Soldiers from both the 36th (Ulster) and 16th (Irish) divisions fought in the battle between 1 July and 13 November 1916.

Over over 3,500 Irish soldiers died at the Somme. Nearly 2,000 soldiers from cities, towns, villages and town lands of the North were killed in the first few hours. The 16th Irish Division had 4,330 casualties, of whom 1,200 were killed. These came mainly from the other three Irish provinces.


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