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Minister Humphreys welcomes unveiling of Cross of Sacrifice at Glasnevin Cemetery

The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD, today welcomed the unveiling of a Cross of Sacrifice at Glasnevin Cemetery to mark the Centenary of the Great War and to commemorate the many thousands of soldiers from Ireland who died as a result of either WW1 or WW2, especially the 207 who are buried in Glasnevin.

The Cross of Sacrifice was formally unveiled by the President, Michael D. Higgins and HRH the Duke of Kent KG. Also in attendance were the Chairman of Glasnevin Trust, Mr John Green, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, the Rt. Hon. Theresa Villiers MP, the British Ambassador to Ireland, His Excellency Dominick Chilcott and Ms Deirdre Mills, Director UK Operations, Commonwealth War Graves Commission. The ceremony was marked by the attendance of a Colour Party from the Defence Forces.

The Cross of Sacrifice is a cooperative venture between Glasnevin Trust and the Commonwealth Graves Commission to ensure those people who lost their lives in the two world wars are ‘forever remembered’.

Speaking at the ceremony in her capacity as Chair of the Decade of Centenaries Commemoration Programme, Minister Humphreys said "This is a momentous occasion, and also a poignant one, as we remember the thousands of Irish soldiers who gave their lives in the World Wars. For many people, the centenary of World War 1 relates to the life and experiences of their parents, grand-parents and their siblings. The soldiers of the war are not anonymous or forgotten within their families and I am pleased that we have been joined by so many family members of those soldiers. I hope that - in the coming years - these private memories will be brought forward so that we may all acknowledge this important strand of our history.

Minister Humphreys continued "The Cross of Sacrifice monument before us today is the latest expression of a partnership between the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and Glasnevin Trust, a voluntary body originally established by Daniel O’Connell in 1828. This historic location, Glasnevin Cemetery was established in 1832 and encompasses 124 acres and 1.5 million burials. It is our national memorial centre and developing an impressive education programme for visitors.

"It is here - in the context of all the other elements of our modern history - that the history of the Irish in the World War will be explained and the memory of our soldiers respected.”