With Covid restrictions easing we are recommencing our projects. We recently spent the day in the The Somme Association & Somme Museum with Carol Walker Director of the Somme Association, working on a multimedia project dedicated to Ireland and the Great War.
1 July is a poignant day in military history. On that day in 1916, the 141 days of the Battle of the Somme began. Nine corps of the French Sixth Army and the British Fourth and Third armies attacked the German 2nd Army. It was the bloodiest day in the history of the British Army – of the 57,470 British casualties, 19,240 men had been killed. the 36th (Ulster) Division had over 5,000 casualties; 2,069 of whom were killed. All three regiments were awarded the Battle Honour ALBERT 1916.
Wreaths were laid earlier today at the Cenotaph, Belfast City Hall, for the annual Somme commemoration in remembrance of all those who lost their lives.
The photographs below show the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Cllr Kate Nicholl accompanying Danny Kinahan, NI Veterans Commissioner; Maj Philip Morrison, Royal British Legion President NI and Lt Col Ken Martin, Royal British Legion President RoI.
Thank you to The Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media and the Northern Ireland Veterans’ Commissioner’s Office for their support. Thank you to Belfast City Hall/Council for their permission to attend today’s event.
Spent a very enjoyable and engaging day in the Somme Museum discussing future projects supported by the Dep. of Culture Heritage and the Gaeltacht, focusing on Ireland and the Great War, and exploring Irish identity, diversity and reconciliation. Thank you to the museum staff for their hospitality.
Annual Ceremony of Commemoration and Wreath-laying
Photographs by John O’Byrne and Niall Keating
The Annual Ceremony of Commemoration and Wreath-laying took place today at the Irish National War Memorial Gardens at Islandbridge. Due to Covid 19, restrictions were in place and a smaller ceremony was held in the Rose Garden.The event was arranged and led by the Royal British Legion Republic of Ireland District with the co-operation and assistance of the OPW – Office of Public Works. The ceremony corresponds with the anniversary of the Battle of the Somme and commemorates those who lost their lives in the two World Wars, in particular the estimated 60,000 Irish men and women from all parts of the Ireland who served and died in those conflicts.
Representation from all parts and traditions of the Island of Ireland is a key feature.The ceremony commenced at 12.30 pm. Unfortunately, due to restrictions there was no colourful parade of standards this year. An ecumenical service of remembrance, recitals and music and the laying of official wreaths by members of the government and civic leaders from Ireland and Northern Ireland, members of the Diplomatic Corps, Service and veterans’ representatives.Music was provided by Óglaigh na hÉireann / Irish Defence Forces and the Royal Irish Regiment.
The event was attended by Minister of State at the Department of Finance with responsibility for Financial Services, Credit Unions & Insurance, Jack Chambers TD, DCOS Support Major General Seán Clancy, British Ambassador to Ireland HE Mr. Robin Barnett CMG.German, Ambassador to Ireland HE Ambassador Deike Potzel, New Zealand Ambassador to Ireland HE Brad Burgess, French Ambassador to Ireland HE Mr Stéphane Crouzat, First Secretary Embassy of Australia Mr Rober Owen-Jones, The President The Royal British Legion, Republic of Ireland, Lt. Col. Ken Martin,The President, The Royal British Legion, Northern Ireland, Major Philip J. Morrison MBE BEM.
The service was given by the Church of Ireland Rector of Kindle Rev Peter Rutherford.
Annual Ceremony of Remembrance and Wreath Laying – Irish National War Memorial Gardens
Photographs by Ken Mooney and Wesley Bourke
The annual ceremony of commemoration and wreath-laying at the Irish National War Memorial Gardens at Islandbridge is arranged and led by the Royal British Legion Republic of Ireland District with the co-operation and assistance of the Irish State. This major Battle of the Somme anniversary event commemorates those who lost their lives in the two World Wars, in particular the estimated 60,000 Irish men and women from all parts of the Ireland who served and died in those conflicts. Representation from all parts and traditions of the Island of Ireland is a key feature.
The ceremony commenced at 12.30 pm with a colourful parade of the standards of Royal British Legion, regimental, ex-services organisations and commemorative associations. This was followed by an ecumenical service of remembrance, recitals and music and the laying of official wreaths by government and civic leaders from Ireland and Northern Ireland, members of the Diplomatic Corps, Service and veterans’ representatives.
Music was provided jointly by bands from the 1st Brigade of the Irish Defence Forces and the Royal Irish Regiment.
Some special guests this year include: Lt. Gen. James Bashall (National President) & Mrs Bashall, Mr Charles Byrne Director General TRBL and Maj. Gen. David Jolliffe IEST.