Archive of first World War dead
Sir, – The importance of the digitisation of Ireland’s Memorial Records of the first World War is somewhat overstated (Home News, January 11th).
The volumes of names have been available for many years on Ancestry’s genealogy website, and on CD from Trinity College’s Eneclann. It can therefore hardly be described as a “new archive” as your article states.
Another issue is the fact that the original 1923 project’s methodology included the assumption that all men in Irish regiments were Irishmen. In reality, especially as the war went on, a huge percentage of “Irish” regiments were made up of non-Irish soldiers. A cursory examination of the “Place of Birth” information in the records will confirm this.
If this is an indication of the level of Government engagement in the commemoration of the Irish dead of the Great War, I am deeply saddened.
This exercise is a cut-and-paste copy of an already flawed set of documents, dressed up and wheeled out to provide a photo opportunity for politicians who have no real interest in investing any money or resources into compiling a properly accurate memorial list of Irishmen who never came home.
Our dead of the Great War deserve better than this. – Yours, etc,
Lucan, Co Dublin.