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(...)

‘Let God avert this’: Italian infantry march through the desert near Tripoli, Libya, in 1915, during the first World War. Photograph: PA

OPTIMISM IS RAPIDLY FAILING, EUROPEAN CONFLAGRATION ON THE WAYRome: We simply don’t know what is happening on the Austro-Hungarian border with Serbia,(...)

Guns being landed at Howth in 1914. The figure on the far right is Erskine Childers. Photograph: National Museum of Ireland

One hundred years ago on Saturday last Erskine Childers sailed his expensive gun-laden yacht Asgard towards the east pier at Howth. Unburdened of his (...)

Registration of foreign aliens in Paris, August 1914, before their evacuation (Photo: Agence Rol Bibliothèque nationale de France, dpt. des Estampes et de la photographie)

The minarets of a Sarajevo mosque loom in the background. Men watching from balconies and in the street are coiffed with the red Ottoman fez. Gavrilo (...)

Scottish Labour politician James Keir Hardie (1856 - 1915), addressing a peace meeting in Trafalgar Square, London, from the plinth of Nelson’s Column. Keir Hardie was born in Legbrannock, in Lanarkshire, and worked in a coalpit from the age of 10. After working as a journalist he turned to politics. The founding Chairman of the Scottish Labour Party (1888), Keir Hardie was elected to Parliament in 1892 for West Ham South, and then in 1900 for Merthyr Tydfil. He was the first leader of the Labour Party in Parliament (1906-07).  Photograph: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

T wo days after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife in Sarajevo, Liberal Prime Minister Herbert Asquith stood in the Commons, d(...)

Scottish Labour leader, co-founder of the Labour Party and champion of miners’ rights, James Keir Hardie (1856 - 1915). Photograph: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Ramsey McDonald met Keir Hardie on the terrace of the House of Commons, looking out on to the river Thames, shortly after he had come back from his So(...)

Kaiser Wilhelm II, Emperor of Germany and King of Prussia,. Helmuth Von Moltke, German army chief of staff, and Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz on December 8th 1912, after news from London that Britain would not tolerate the crushing of France, Wilhelm met his top military, including both men. At what became known as “the War Council”, Moltke argued in favour of war, “the sooner the better”. Tirpitz argued “the navy would prefer to see the postponement of the great fight for one and a half years”. (Photo by Universal History Archive/Getty Images)
What will the British do?

‘The influence of the Irish crisis on German policy has generally been underestimated,” Northern Ireland historian ATQ Stewart wrote in his thriller-l(...)

Meeting at the foreign office between Sir Edward Grey (left), Count Berckendorff (second from left), Russian ambassador to the Court of St James, with fellow ambassadors, Paul Cambon (France, seated left) and Prince Karl Max Lichnowsky (Germany, standing centre), Lichnowsky was the only German diplomat who raised objections to Germany’s efforts to provoke an Austro-Serbian war, arguing that Britain would intervene in a continental war. 	A final cable on July 29th to the German Foreign Office stated simply “if war breaks out it will be the greatest catastrophe the world has ever seen.” From the Illustrated London News.  Photograph: Herbert Orth//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images

In the years after the first World War, Sir Edward Grey, by now failing in sight, stayed awake at night in his cottage on the banks of Itchen chalk ri(...)

Leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party John Redmond (1856 - 1918, left) with Irish nationalist politician John Dillon (1851 - 1927), circa 1910. Photograph: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

As war erupted throughout Europe, Ireland was in the midst of her own major political crisis over home rule. The Third Home Rule (Government of Irelan(...)

Few can be unaware of the current commemoration of the outbreak of the first World War, the calamity from which all other 20th century disaster(...)