German President Joachim Gauck: “This war began in western Europe with Germany’s completely unjustifiable invasion of neutral Belgium.’ Above, with French President François Hollande at the Allies’ Memorial, in Cointe, near Liege, on  August 4th.  Photograph: Julien Warnande/PA

You may have heard George Bernard Shaw say on that promo currently running on RTÉ Radio 1: “We learn from history that we learn nothing from history.”(...)

German president Joachim Gauck leaves the podium after a speech during a ceremony of remembrance for the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War, at the Allies’ Memorial, in Cointe, near Liege, Belgium today. Photograph: Maurizio Gambarini/EPA

German president Joachim Gauck delivered a forceful speech today on the actions of his own country in invading Belgium on August 4th, 1914 . Mr Gauck(...)

President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina (second right) are welcomed by King Philippe of Belgium (2-L) and Queen Mathilde of Belgium (L) as they arrive at the Abbey of St Lawrence to attend the commemoration for the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War in Liege, Belgium,today.  Photograph: Stephanie Lecocq/EPA

The First World War was a horrific event in human history and has to be regarded as such, according to President Michael D Higgins, who is today atten(...)

Part of an exhibition in Liège entitled “I was 20 in 14” shows a trench during the first World War. Photograph: Yves Herman.

President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina will take part in an international commemorative ceremony in Liège in Belgium today to mark the begin(...)

President Michael D Higgins and Duke of Kent, president of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, after unveiling a Cross of Sacrifice at Glasnevin Cemetery on Thursday. Photograph: Alan Betson

President Michael D Higgins will represent Ireland at events on Monday in Belgium to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the first World War(...)

President Higgins with his wife Sabina on an official visit to Festival Interceltique de Lorient, France, and to First World War commemorations in Liege and Mons, Belgium. Photograph: Shane O’Neill

President Michael D Higgins arrived in Lorient in Brittany yesterday as guest of honour at the Festival Interceltique’s “Year of Ireland”. Culture Ir(...)

War weary: British soldiers at Mons in August 1914. Photograph: Mansell/Life/Getty (Digitally enhanced)

Driving along the quiet, secluded roads of southern Belgium, the towns of Liège, Dinant and Namur chequer the landscape, stopping points on the roa(...)

Irish writer  Francis Ledwidge, pictured around 1915. An event will take place in Brussels today to commemorate both  Ledwidge and Welsh poet Hedd Wyn. The two poets never met, but they were both killed during the first World War on July 31st, 1917. Photograph: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Heads of state from across the world, including President Michael D Higgins, gather in the Belgian town of Liège this Monday to mark the centenary (...)

The tombstone of John Parr, the first British soldier killed in World War I, on August 21st, 1914, at the Military Cemetery of Saint-Symphorien in Spiennes, Mons. Photograph: Benoit Doppagne/AFP/Getty Images

President Michael D Higgins is to attend an official British commemoration for the start of the first World War at Mons in Belgium. He will be among (...)

The Tyne Cot military cemetery near Ypres in Belgium. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Deep in the quiet Belgian countryside lies Tyne Cot cemetery, the largest commonwealth graveyard in the world. The nine-acre site houses rows of wh(...)