Defence Forces memorial unveiled in Dublin

 

A memorial to members of the Defence Forces who have died serving the State was unveiled at Dublin's Merrion Square this morning.

President Mary McAleese led the unveiling ceremony, which was attended by Taoiseach Brian Cowen, Minister for Defence Willie O'Dea, and families and Defence Force comrades of deceased personnel.

The pyramid-shaped national memorial, designed by artist Brian King, was the winning entry in an international competition that attracted more than 30 artists.

It depicts members of the Army, Navy, Air Corps and Reserve cast in bronze standing guard over an eternal flame that emanates from the Defence Forces Badge at the centre of the structure.

The work is made mainly from granite slabs resting on a steel frame with glass panels, and the edifice is set near the corner of Merrion Square South and Merrion Square West in Archbishop Ryan Park, Dublin 2.

Speaking today, Mr O’Dea said: “Now Ireland will have a permanent memorial in a prominent position in our nation’s capital where we can all honour and remember those who gave their lives for Ireland and the global community."

He said the memorial - which will be named An Dún Cuimhneacháin- offers a "fitting public recognition of the contribution and sacrifice made by members of the Defence Forces" and will be a "tangible acknowledgement" of the grief and bereavement of those they left behind.

The Minister complimented Mr King on his "fine work" and thanked Archbishop of Dublin Dr Diarmuid Martin for allowing the memorial to be located in Archbishop Ryan Park, which is a diocesan property