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Remembered Today:

Ahern Remembers All Ireland's Fallen


markinbelfast
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Well i hope Bertie goes on prime time and shouts it from the roof tops and educates some of the people here.

I cant help thinking his is being very clever as it scuppers any response from Sein Fein IRA as the last time they went to a rememberence commemoration they planted a bomb and murdered dozens of people, so he has them there but i only hope his commemoration brings awareness and stops anything else

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Purely by way of clarification, I think its worth pointing out that Sinn Fein's Alex Maskey laid a laurel wreath on the Somme anniversary in 2002.

Swizz

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Hello All,

I was delighted that Bertie made those comments and equally delighted that the tricolour was flown this weekend at a WW1 commemoration ceremony in Derry for those who fought and fell in the First World War.

Slowly, but surely, these men are finally getting the recognition they deserve.

Regards,

Liam.

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The Derry ceremony was discussed on Radio Ulster this lunchtime (link below) and the views expressed by the loyalist being interviewed were perhaps not what might be expected - the interviewer used the term 'radical'. A really interesting topic in the context of the Peace Process and ideas about reconciliation.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/northernireland/talkback/

Swizz

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Have to wait until I get home to listen again.

I applaud the fact that the tricolour was carried with respect (and indeed, treated with respect) at this commemoration.

Des

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And here's an article from tonight's Belfast Telegraph:

Anger as tricolour flown with Union flag

Cenotaph service is marred by dispute

By Clare Weir

07 November 2005

A row erupted in Londonderry today after the Irish tricolour was flown alongside the Union flag at a special remembrance service at the city's cenotaph.

While the flags of New Zealand and Canada were also flown at the war memorial, DUP Assembly member William Hay said the display of the tricolour was a "step to far" for unionists in Derry.

Organised by chief executive of the Maydown Ebrington Group, Glen Barr, the event at the Diamond was attended by the Mayor of Messines and the family of Waterford teenager John Condon, the youngest soldier to die during the Great War.

Today Mr Hay said the men of the 16th Irish Division, who fought alongside the 36th Ulster Division at Messines, should be remembered under the union flag.

"I and my fellow unionist councillors received a number of calls on this issue," he said. "While it is interesting to note the Irish government have finally recognised the role of their countrymen in the First and Second World Wars, there are genuine concerns that some in the nationalist community could use this situation to see that the tricolour could be flown alongside the union flag on other occasions.

"It is alright in principal, and I agree that other flags were flown, but when you look at the situation with flags in this city, it is a step too far for unionists.

"While I realise that the 16th Irish division fought alongside the Ulster division and I applaud their role, I think they should be remembered under the same flag, the Union flag, because it was more or less a war that Britain supported and fought."

SDLP leader on Derry City Council Pat Ramsey, whose relatives fought during the World War One, said: "You would like to think that parity of esteem could be accepted in the name of remembrance.

"The men of the 16th Irish and 36th Ulster divisions fought and died together and I don't think anybody would look at this service as offensive.

"This was not a political thing. If they could see it now, I don't think anybody who fought during World War One and World War Two would be offended, nor would their families."

Organiser Glen Barr, who has set up a peace school in Messines, said that for years nationalists were criticised for not wearing the Poppy and going to remembrance events.

He added: "Nationalists wore the poppy and laid wreaths and as far as I am concerned all the nations who fought at Messines were represented yesterday and their flags were flown."

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I would love to know just how many phone calls were received. Pure politics.

Des

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Hi Des, :)

I think there may have been more than you think !

As you know the role of the 36th Ulster Division has become very political. I have been on the Somme on 1st July and have been to the Ceremony at the Ulster Tower.

There was absolutely no doubt, as to the very Loyalist para-military undertones !!

Speaking to many people over the last few years about Ireland and WW1, it has become very apparent to me that with a general feeling of abandonment by the British Government, many Unionists identify the sacrifice of their men with Britishness. Almost a way of proving there alligence to the Crown.

I understand that is a simplistic view and that Carson's UVF would quite happily have fought the British Army if the Government of the day had tried to force through Home Rule.

Being able to look at it from outside, I must admit I can see both sides, and would hope that one day, hopefully soon the 2 flags can fly together without too much hurt, but I think that maybe for too many Unionists it's a little premature !!!

Cheers

Tim.

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Flying flags and politicians attending rememberence is nothing but good and a way of getting the story out but for a terrorist murder groups representative to turn up and plant a wreath must be nothing short of stomach turning sickening

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A different slant from this morning's Newsletter which, to all intents and purposes, is the 'unionist' morning paper in NI. Note that the article is very positive about the nature of the parade and the manner in which the flags issue was handled.

http://www.newsletter.co.uk/story/23891

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Well posted Des, aside from Mr Hay's objections, from the media on both sides of the border I think this has been seen as positive on both sides of the community.

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More comment - from the (nationalist) Derry Journal:

Tricolour Should Never Be Treated As Equal - Says DUP's William Hay

Tuesday 8th November 2005

There was fallout amongst Unionists in Derry yesterday following a unique remembrance service in the city. On Sunday people from across Ireland gathered at the cenotaph for a service which saw the Union Jack fly alongside the Irish Tricolour for the first time ever at such an event in the North.

Glen Barr, who works to promote reconciliation through remembrance, said it was an important day for Northern Ireland but DUP MLA William Hay hit out at the move describing it as a 'step too far'. The MLA said he feared the flag gesture would encourage nationalists to force the British government to have both flags recognised as equals in Northern Ireland. "We do not want to see is the Tricolour flying alongside the Union Jack at Stormont" Mr Hay said. "I have no problem recognising the Tricolour when I am in the South, its the flag of that country, but to fly it alongside the Union Jack here still conjures up all sorts of bad feeling for many unionists.

It will take a long time for that to go away, in fact I would say 'never' to both flags flying together as equals in this country". Meanwhile Mr Barr argued that both flags had been flown together at remembrance services in Belgium and the same premise should apply in Derry. "The flags have flown at events in Belgium without any controversy" he said.

"If we can do it in Belgium, we have to start doing it in Ireland." While not wishing to comment on the flag issue in regard to remembrance services, a spokesperson for Sinn Fein said that under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement nationalist symbols are to be treated as equals. "Nationalists living in the six counties have the right to designate themselves as Irish and the Dublin government have a right to respect that" he said.

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