Belfast Telegraph

Mayor leads tributes to thousands who lost their lives at the Somme

By Amanda Ferguson

The new Lord Mayor of Belfast, Nichola Mallon, has laid a wreath at City Hall to commemorate the sacrifice of the thousands of men from Ireland who died at the Battle of the Somme.

The ceremony was held yesterday at the cenotaph to honour those who died in the battle, which started on July 1, 1916.

Among those to perish were many soldiers from the 36th Ulster and 16th Irish divisions.

Wreaths were also laid by First Minister Peter Robinson and Irish Minister Joe Costello.

The Irish government has been taking part in the Belfast commemoration since 2012.

Mr Costello said: "Through commemorating together, we deepen our understanding of the overlapping histories of all traditions on the island of Ireland. In the current decade of commemorations, we mark historical events that affected all the people of this island, shaping relations on the island for the century which followed."

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers represented the UK at ceremonies in France. She laid wreaths at Thiepval and the Somme Association services at the Ulster Tower and Guillemont.

Belfast Telegraph


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