The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP, today attended a ceremony to dedicate a Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cross of Sacrifice at Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin. The Cross was unveiled jointly by HRH The Duke of Kent and Irish President, Michael Higgins.
The Secretary of State, along with Irish Government Minister Jimmy Deenihan, laid the foundation stone for the cross in March this year. His successor as Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD, will also participate in today’s ceremony.
The Cross was erected by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, of which HRH The Duke of Kent is the President, supported by the Irish Government, to mark the centenary of the First World War and commemorate the sacrifice of all Irish soldiers who lost their lives in the World Wars.
These 2 events form part of a wider programme of visits and events attended by UK and Irish Ministers to mark the centenary of the First World War and the wider turbulent decade in Ireland.
Speaking in advance of the event at Glasnevin, Ms Villiers said:
It is a great honour for me to return to Glasnevin for the unveiling of the Cross of Sacrifice. On behalf of Her Majesty’s Government, I would like to thank all of those from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Glasnevin Trust and the Irish Government who were involved in the realisation of this magnificent project.
The high level attendance from the UK and Ireland is a clear demonstration that we remain committed to working together to mark the centenaries of the First World War and the wider decade of centenaries across the island of Ireland.
It is important that we use every opportunity to raise awareness of the shared history between the UK and Ireland and between the communities on both sides of the border. It is fitting that they now have access to a site where they can come together in quiet contemplation to pay tribute to the memory of those who gave so much for our freedom.