Kenny and Flanagan lay wreaths in North

Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan - ceremony 'a chance to reflect'

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan have laid wreaths at solemn Remembrance Sunday events in the North.

For the third year in succession Mr Kenny attended the always poignant service in Enniskillen – the scene of the IRA’s notorious poppy day bomb in 1987.

He laid a laurel wreath at the foot of the Co Fermanagh town’s war memorial.

Minister Flanagan joined First Minister Peter Robinson and a host of other dignitaries, including Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers and Belfast Lord Mayor Nichola Mallon to pay their tributes at the commemorations at the Cenotaph in Belfast.

Mr Kenny has become a regular presence in Enniskillen since 2012 when he became the first Taoiseach to attend a Remembrance Sunday service in the North.

The commemorations in the town have assumed added significance since the IRA’s no warning attack 27 years ago that killed 11 people. A 12th victim died 13 years later having never regained consciousness.

“Today’s ceremony is a chance to reflect on the sad events of a hundred years ago when men and women from all parts of this island and from all traditions, left their homes to fight in the First World War,” Minister Flanagan said.

“I was pleased to accept the invitation to participate in today’s ceremony at the Belfast Cenotaph and to lay a wreath, on behalf of the Irish Government, to remember all those who died. I believe attendance at such commemorations shows respect for all traditions and helps further reconciliation on the island of Ireland and across these islands.”

In Dublin, Irish soldiers who died will be remembered later at a service at St Patrick’s Cathedral. Tánaiste Joan Burton is expected to attend the event.

While in London, Irish Ambassador to Britain Dan Mulhall laid a laurel wreath at the Cenotaph – the first time an Irish diplomat has participated in the commemorations for almost 70 years.


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