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Michelle O’Neill to attend Royal British Legion Dublin Somme commemoration


Michelle O'Neill Photo: PressEye

Michelle O'Neill Photo: PressEye

Michelle O'Neill Photo: PressEye

Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill will attend a Royal British Legion wreath-laying ceremony for the first time on Saturday.

Ms O’Neill will accompany First Minister Paul Givan to the annual Somme commemoration ceremony, which takes place at the Irish National War Memorial Gardens in Dublin between 12pm and 1.15pm.

It will be addressed by representatives from the Royal British Legion districts in Dublin and Northern Ireland.

Sinn Fein's former Stormont Speaker Mitchel McLaughlin attended the same commemoration in 2015 alongside the then Sinn Féin Lord Mayor of Dublin Criona Ni Dhalaigh.

This will be the first time Michelle O’Neill has taken part in a wreath-laying commemoration organised by the Royal British Legion.

The Royal British Legion said the ceremony will remember all 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 Island who served and died in those conflicts.

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“Official wreaths will be laid by Government and Civic Leaders from both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. By members of the Diplomatic Corps, The Royal British Legion-Republic of Ireland and Royal British Legion-Northern Ireland, Service and many veterans’ representatives,” they added.

Meanwhile, the DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has held a telephone conversation with Prime Minister Boris Johnson for the first time on Friday.

Mr Donaldson said their conversation focused on the Northern Ireland Protocol.

“This was my first conversation with the Prime Minister since becoming leader of the DUP and I took the opportunity to remind him that my number one objective is to restore our place within the UK internal market,” he said.

“The Northern Ireland Protocol has damaged the economic and constitutional integrity of the Union. We will work with the Prime Minister and others in Parliament to deal with the Protocol. It is flawed and cannot remain.

“We also discussed the need for Northern Ireland to benefit from the Government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda and in particular for enhanced connectivity between Northern Ireland the rest of the United Kingdom.”

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