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President to lay wreath as events commemorating fallen soldiers held around Ireland

National Commemoration Day marks the deaths of Irish men and women in past wars and on UN service.

President Michael D Higgins inspects a Defence Forces Guard of Honour after his inauguration in November.
President Michael D Higgins inspects a Defence Forces Guard of Honour after his inauguration in November.
Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

CEREMONIES TO COMMEMORATE the Irish men and women who lost their lives in past wars or while serving with the United Nations are being held around the country today.

An event at the National Museum of Ireland, Collins Barracks, this morning is being attended by President Michael D Higgins, Taoiseach Enda Kenny and representatives of the Diplomatics Corps, the Council of State.

Relatives of the 1916 leaders and of Irish people who died on UN service are also expected to attend, as are representatives from Northern Ireland.

The Collins Barracks event begins at 10.30am with a multi-faith prayer service followed by the President laying a commemorative wreath on behalf of the people of Ireland. Galway’s Cois Cladaigh choir and Army bands will be providing musical accompaniment to the event. Members of the public who wish to attend are advised to arrive before 10.15am.

Events are also being held at City Hall in Sligo, Kilkenny Castle, the NUIG Quadrangle in Galway, Limerick City Hall, Fitzgerald’s Park in Cork and Bishop’s Palace Museum of Treasures in Waterford. These commemoration ceremonies are due to start at 11am (except for Waterford’s which starts at 11.30) and all are open to the public, but people should arrive half an hour beforehand.

UN Peacekeeping in numbers:

  • 98,685 – uniformed personnel
  • 117 – countries contributing uniformed personnel
  • 18,0855 – civilian personnel
  • 2,445 – volunteers
  • 2,997 – total fatalities
  • 86 – Irish fatalities
  • 1958 – the year Ireland began participating in UN missions
  • 436 – Irish Defence Forces personnel currently serving overseas
  • 16 – UN missions Irish Defence Forces personnel are currently involved in
  • $7.84 billion – resources approved to cover UN peacekeeping operations for period 1 July 2011 – 30 June 2012

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