Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Dublin invited to Somme ceremony

Belfast councillor Pat McCarthy

The Irish Government is to be invited to participate in the Somme and Remembrance Sunday commemorations in Belfast.

A motion from SDLP Councillor Pat McCarthy was passed at Belfast City Council on Wednesday night.

Mr McCarthy said times were changing - including attitudes to the First World War dead.

"For a long time in the history of the Republic that period was forgotten and was something which was never talked about, but that has now changed and there are many groups which have been formed to look at the history of people from the local area who took part in the First World War.

"Indeed it is to be welcomed as it is part of the complex relationships between all parts of Ireland," he said.

He said the Queen's visit to Dublin would have been unthinkable a decade ago.

He added: "I think it is now time that we took another step along the road to strengthen normal relationships between people of goodwill by inviting the Government in Dublin to participate at the Somme Commemoration and the Remembrance Sunday ceremony here in our city."

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