Belfast Telegraph

Remembrance Sunday: Cities and towns across Northern Ireland fall silent in tribute


By Donna Deeney

Thousands gathered yesterday across Northern Ireland to join in quiet reflection and pay tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Around 200 people gathered at the Cenotaph at the Diamond in Londonderry city centre for this year's Remembrance Sunday.

The Queen was represented by the Lord Lieutenant, Dr Angela Garvey, who laid the first wreath.

As the Guildhall clock struck 11, those who were present observed two minutes of silence.

DUP councillor Drew Thompson represented Derry and Strabane District Council in the absence of Sinn Fein mayor Maoliosa McHugh, whose party has never attended the Remembrance Day ceremony in Derry.

SDLP deputy mayor John Boyle, who has attended previously, was understood not to have been available.

However, the nationalist party was represented at the Cenotaph, as was the UUP.

Following the short parade from the Church of Ireland Deanery in Bishop's Street, Presbyterian Moderator Rev Dr Noble McNeely was joined in prayer by the Dean of Derry, the Very Rev Raymond Stewart and Methodist minister Rev Peter Murray.

Wreaths were also laid by two visiting Chelsea Pensioners, Walter Swann and Eddie Reid, as well as member of the armed forces, emergency services and Lisneal and Foyle Colleges. Lisburn also paused to remember the fallen at a short act of Remembrance at the city's War Memorial.

Gordon Rogan, chairman of Lisburn Branch of the Royal British Legion, gave the exhortation and a bugler from 2nd Battalion The Rifles played the Last Post and Reveille.

Meanwhile, the Orange Order held an Armistice Day commemoration service at its headquarters in Schomberg House in Belfast.

Deputy grand master Harold Henning said this year was "particularly poignant, as we reflect on the courage and selflessness of those who fought and died during the First World War".

"Many were members of this institution who took their Orange ritual and tradition with them to the trenches; with some even wearing their sashes as they went over the top."

Mr Henning recalled the horror of the IRA Poppy Day bombing in Enniskillen 30 years ago.

"On this the week of the 30th anniversary of the Enniskillen bombing, we think of those innocent civilians, including two Orangemen, murdered in the heinous IRA atrocity on Remembrance Sunday.

"We remember them and all the victims of terrorism."

Meanwhile, DUP MP Gregory Campbell has slammed a weekend 'Alternative Remembrance Day' event in Derry as disrespectful and insulting after peace activists gathered to read anti-war poetry and sing songs at 11am on Armistice Day.

Dozens gathered in Derry's Guildhall Square on Saturday where former MLA Eamonn McCann read out Wilfred Owen's famous anti-war poem Dulce et Decorum Est.

A minute's silence was observed by those in attendance and a rousing rendition of Edwin Starr's War was belted out by a jazz singer after the minute's silence.

Mr Campbell said: "I think it was inappropriate and they haven't yet to explain what they are for and what they are against."

However, Derry Anti-War Coalition organiser Davy McAuley said the event "remembered all those innocent victims who have needlessly died" and it "was right to be passionate and loud, as well as being reflective".

Belfast Telegraph

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