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Dublin: 6 °C Friday 18 October, 2019
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Enda Kenny and David Cameron to visit World War I memorials in Belgium

Enda Kenny is in Belgium to attend the first EU Summit since Ireland’s exit of the bailout.

David Cameron and Enda Kenny
David Cameron and Enda Kenny
Image: Photocall Ireland

THE TAOISEACH ENDA Kenny and the British Prime Minister David Cameron will both visit a number of First World War graves and memorials in Flanders in Belgium this morning.

Both Government heads are in Belgium to attend an EU Council meeting which is being held in Brussels today also.

World War I

Both leaders will pay their respects to those who gave their lives in World War I and is meant to represents another key milestone in the deepening of British-Irish relations.  The visit takes place as part of the decade of centenary commemorations of key events between 2012 and 2022.

Kenny and Cameron will visit a number of locations where soldiers in British uniform, including many Irish soldiers, fought and died. Both leaders will place wreaths at the grave of Willie Redmond. He was a nationalist politician and Member of Parliament in the Irish Parliamentary party.

He was commissioned as a captain in the Royal Irish Regiment, with whom he served 33 years. He went to France on the Western Front with the 16th (Irish) Division in the winter of 1915-16.

Memorial

Redmond requested his remains be buried outside the walls of the British military cemetery at Locre. The request was a direct response to the execution of the leaders of the Easter Rising in 1916.

The visit will also include the Island of Ireland Peace Park at Messines which is a memorial to the 50,000 Irish who died, the village of Wytschaete where the 16th (Dublin) and 36th (Ulster) divisions advanced together and fell in the attack on Messines Ridge and the Menin Gate Memorial which is dedicated to British and commonwealth soldiers whose graves are unknown.

They will also visit the Tyne Cot  Cemetery which is the largest cemetery for Commonwealth forces in the world for any war.

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