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Irish sailors honoured in new mural marking the Battle of Jutland

By Staff Reporter

Published 18/04/2016

First Minister Arlene Foster unveils the new wall art installation in Jutland Square, at Tennent Street on the Shankill Road, which commemorates sailors from all over Ireland who lost their lives at the Battle of Jutland, the centenary of which falls on 31st May 2016. Photo by William Cherry / Presseye
First Minister Arlene Foster unveils the new wall art installation in Jutland Square, at Tennent Street on the Shankill Road, which commemorates sailors from all over Ireland who lost their lives at the Battle of Jutland, the centenary of which falls on 31st May 2016. Photo by William Cherry / Presseye
The Battle of Jutland was fought off the coast of Denmark
HMS Caroline is on display in Belfast as part of the Battle of Jutland commemorations

A new mural commemorating the First World War's most important sea battle has been unveiled.

The artwork highlights the contribution and sacrifice of sailors from across Ireland who died in the Battle of Jutland 100 years ago.

It now dominates a north Belfast park which had previously been a graffiti blackspot.

The seven-panel artwork was created by a Shared History workshop to recognise the valour of Irish sailors who served with the Royal Navy in what was a significant maritime duel.

The battle, near the coast of Denmark's Jutland Peninsula, involved about 250 ships.

More than 6,000 British personnel and 2,500 Germans died in the battle, which raged between May 31 and June 1, 1916.

Some 348 Irish sailors are believed to have died - many of them young men who signed on at just 15 years of age.

The Royal Navy's senior officer in Northern Ireland, Commander John Gray, attended Friday's unveiling.

Pete Bleakley from the Shared History workshop said that, while the British suffered greater losses, it was the battle that won the war.

"The significance of the battle is that the Royal Navy was the most powerful navy in the world at the time. It was blockading German ports and stopping imports of food and steel, slowly strangling the German war effort," he said.

New wall art installation in Jutland Square, at Tennent Street on the Shankill Road. Photo by William Cherry / Presseye
New wall art installation in Jutland Square, at Tennent Street on the Shankill Road. Photo by William Cherry / Presseye

The commemoration to the Irish sailors in the First World War will take place on May 31.

HMS Caroline, the only surviving warship from the Battle of Jutland, will provide a focal point for the proceedings.

Lieutenant Commander John Gray at the unveiling of the mural
Lieutenant Commander John Gray at the unveiling of the mural
The Battle of Jutland was fought off the coast of Denmark
The Battle of Jutland was fought off the coast of Denmark

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