Tánaiste represents Government at Dublin Remembrance Day ceremonies
Attendance told it is now possible to acknowledge bravery of Irish war dead
Members of the choir leading the procession at the annual Remembrance Service in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, today. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times.
It was now possible for people of all persuasions throughout the island to acknowledge the courage, bravery and sacrifice of the Irish who fought and died in the First World War, Rev Peter Rutherford told the Remembrance Day service in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, today.
“Commemorations and acts of remembrance have taken place, and continue across Ireland, ’’ he said. “It was not always so.’’
Rev Rutherford, Rector of Julianstown and South Drogheda, and formerly assistant chaplain general HM Forces, said earlier this year he was shown the diaries of Father Ned Dowling, a Catholic priest from Ossory, who had served with the Royal Dublin Fusiliers. He had returned home, “lonely and isolated in his rural parish’’, as he listened to the remembrance service on the radio from London in November 1934.
Tánaiste Joan Burton represented the Government at the service, while President Michael D Higgins was represented by his aide-de-camp Col Brendan McAndrew.
Wreaths were placed at the Tree of Remembrance which forms the centrepiece of the “lives remembered’’ exhibition currently running at the cathedral.
Representatives of the Irish Anti-War Movement protested outside the cathedral, handing out leaflets urging those attending to turn their backs on “these hypocritical commemorations’’.
There were sharp exchanges between one of the protesters and Lord Mayor of Dublin Christy Burke on his way into the service. Mr Burke strongly defended his attendance and shook hands with the protester before entering the cathedral.