Rededication for Irish soldiers buried in mass graves at Deansgrange Cemetery

Ceremony remembers 63 men who fought in first World War

The rededication ceremony at Deansgrange.  Cemetery supervisor John McCann said the graves had been designed not to stand out as denoting military service in the war. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

The rededication ceremony at Deansgrange. Cemetery supervisor John McCann said the graves had been designed not to stand out as denoting military service in the war. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

 

The graves of 63 Irishmen who fought in the first World War were rededicated yesterday in a service at Deansgrange Cemetery.

The men, mostly Catholic, served in the war but their military service was kept off the headstones because of the political climate.

The last man to be remembered yesterday died in 1998.

Seven plaques were put on four mass graves where the 63 men are buried. Many had been in psychiatric institutions after the war.

The rededication was carried out by Fr Joe Kennedy from Mount Argus and the Rev Arthur Young from Kill O’The Grange, Church of Ireland.

Deansgrange Cemetery supervisor John McCann said the graves had been designed not to stand out as denoting military service in the war.

The Ulster Covenant and Historical Society was at the rededication in their first visit to such an event in the Republic.

Mr McCann said there might be thousands of Irishmen who fought in the first World War buried in Deansgrange Cemetery and it should be given a Cross of Sacrifice similar to the one erected in Glasnevin Cemetery recently.

Book on Jesuits in war

Irish Jesuit Chaplains in the First World War tells the story of 11 chaplains including Fr Willie Doyle SJ who was killed at the Battle of Passchendaele in August 1917 having run “all day hither and thither over the battlefield like an angel of mercy”.