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Dublin: 7 °C Tuesday 19 November, 2019
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Lest we forget: Taoiseach and other leaders mark 100 years since World War I

Leaders will meet at Ypres in Belgium, which was destroyed in World War I.

The cemetery in Ypres.
The cemetery in Ypres.
Image: Chris Radburn/PA Photo

TAOISEACH ENDA KENNY is to join other EU leaders in Belgium today to mark 100 years since the start of World War I.

Leaders will gather at Ypres to attend a ceremony at Menin Gate, a memorial to the British and Commonwealth soldiers who died and whose burial places are unknown.

Ypres is symbolic as the city saw heavy fighting through the four years of the war. It stood at the apex of the western front and was heavily damaged and almost destroyed in battle.

It will be the second time in recent months that the Taoiseach has visited Ypres.

In December, he and British Prime Minister David Cameron paid tribute to all the British and Irish soldiers who lost their lives in World War One in a visit which was described as ‘another key milestone’ in the deepening of relations between Britain and Ireland.

More than 200,000 Irish people fought in the British forces in World War I. It is estimated that approximately 49,400 of these men were killed in action.

World War One - The Western Front - 2nd Battle of Ypres Source: S&G and Barratts/EMPICS Archive

Read: Did someone in your family survive World War I? 

Column: Remember those who fought in WWI – they were as diverse, and Irish, as any of us > 

Read: ‘When are the other boys coming?’ WWI posters try to recruit Irish friends > 

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