Belfast Telegraph

Friday 31 October 2014

Jeffrey Donaldson urges more war history in schools

MP Jeffrey Donaldson
MP Jeffrey Donaldson

A DUP politician has urged the Stormont Department of Education to do more to help schoolchildren learn about the First World War and the sacrifices of both communities in Ireland.

Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson – who is chairman of the Northern Ireland WWI centenary committee – made his call today on the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the war which claimed an estimated 49,000 Irish lives.

The British Government currently operate a scheme in England which gives thousands of schoolchildren the opportunity to visit the Great War battlefields.

But Mr Donaldson said: "It's a source of disappointment to me and many people who see the First World War as part of our shared history that the Department of Education here haven't taken any initiative to provide a better understanding of what happened during this period that changed the history of the island of Ireland and Europe."

Mr Donaldson hopes to meet Education Minister John O'Dowd to press home the need for schools to become involved in centenary.

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