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Dublin: 7°C Monday 12 April 2021

Pictures: President and British royal heckled by dissidents at unveiling of monument to war dead

President Higgins was unveiling a Cross of Sacrifice to the war dead of Ireland — the first of its kind to be erected in the State.

Source: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

A SMALL GROUP of dissident republican protesters disrupted a speech by President Higgins this afternoon, as he unveiled a monument to the thousands of Irish killed in the the two world wars.

Higgins was joined by Prince Edward, the Duke of Kent; various ministers; the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and a number of other dignitaries from either side of the border as he formally unveiled the Cross of Sacrifice at Dublin’s Glasnevin Cemetary.

The ceremony was held to coincide with the centenary of the outbreak of hostilities in the Great War, and to commemorate the dead of both conflicts — especially the 208 who are buried in Glasnevin.

However, a small number of dissident republican demonstrators carrying placards from Republican Sinn Féin and the 32 County Sovereignty Movement shouted slogans and heckled throughout the event, including during the President’s speech.

Source: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland... The President and the Duke of Kent


A garda spokesperson confirmed this evening that two men in their 30s were arrested nearby the event for public order offences.

One appeared before the courts earlier. Another has been released on bail, and is due to appear at the Criminal Courts of Justice next month.

Source: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

‘Significant Day’ 

In his speech, President Higgins described the occasion as a significant day “as we dedicate this Cross of Sacrifice – the first such Cross to be erected in the Republic of Ireland”.

On an occasion such as this we eliminate all the barriers that have stood between those Irish soldiers whose lives were taken in the war, whose remains for which we have responsibility, and whose memories we have a duty to respect.

Source: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

Later, in reference to the British royal’s presence, and that of the various Northern Irish leaders also attending, he said:

“The ability to share sombre and profound national memories is an important statement and act of friendship and respect.

“As friends we, Irish and British, share this moment of remembrance; and in mutual sympathy we dedicate this monument to the memory of all those who lost their lives during the too long, dreadful years of 1914 to 1918.

Let us now, together, cultivate memory as a tool for the living and as a sure base for the future – memory employed in the task of building peace.

Source: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

Read “We must take action”… Senators calls for Ireland to strengthen stance on Gaza 

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