President leads large attendance at Remembrance Day ceremony

DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson among those present

President Michael D Higgins led the large attendance at the Remembrance Day ceremony to commemorate Ireland's war dead at St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin, yesterday.

A welcome was extended by Rev V G Stacey, Dean, and the introduction was by Dean’s Vicar, Rev C W Mullen.

There were hymns and readings and a politically ecumenical note was struck when Minister for Heritage Jimmy Deenihan and DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson read the lessons.

Centenary work
Mr Donaldson said he was chairman of the first World War centenary commemoration committee and he had been working very closely with a similar group in Dublin.

“It was the first time I was invited here and I was delighted to accept,’’ he added.


Lord Mayor of Dublin Oisín Quinn also attended. Mr Higgins and Maj Gen The O’Morchoe, president of the Royal British Legion in the Republic, laid wreaths at the war memorial at the north transept of the cathedral.

Major General O’Morchoe read the exhortation. They shall grow not old as we that are left grow old/ Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn/At the going down of the sun, and in the morning/We will remember them/We will remember them.

Former Army chaplain and Rector of Bunclody Rev M R N Stevenson preached the sermon.

War veteran
Among the war veterans present was Geoffrey Medcalf, from Dalkey, Dublin, who was in the RAF from 1941 to 1946. "I had a very tame war,'' he said. "I was in Iceland for about 14 months and the only thing there was the cold.''

He later returned to live in Dublin.

Meanwhile, the cathedral is preparing an exhibition and education programme to mark the centenary of the first World War and is seeking personal stories passed on over the decades It is also seeking objects that could be exhibited.

Michael O'Regan

Michael O'Regan

Michael O’Regan is a former parliamentary correspondent of The Irish Times