Secretary of State Theresa Villiers helped lay a foundation stone yesterday for a monument in Dublin to mark the many thousands of Irish soldiers who gave their lives in both world wars.
She laid the stone for a monumental Cross of Sacrifice at Glasnevin Cemetery jointly with Irish Minister for Arts Jimmy Deenihan.
Also in attendance were Deirdre Mills, Director of UK Operations with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, the Chairman of Glasnevin Trust John Green, and the British Ambassador to Ireland Dominick Chilcott.
Speaking in advance of the event, Ms Villiers had said: “Soon people from both Northern and Southern Ireland will have a place to come together in quiet contemplation to pay tribute to the memory of those, from across the whole island of Ireland, who gave so much for our freedom.”
During her visit she met the Tanaiste to discuss the current political situation and attended the address by the Taoiseach at the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly Plenary Session.
Speaking at the ceremony, Minister Deenihan said: “In this centenary year of the outbreak of the First World War, on the foundation stone we lay today, a great memorial cross will be erected in remembrance of all those who lost their lives in that war and in the conflict that engulfed Europe and the world in 1939.
“This monument will be completed to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the Great War later this year, and will be a poignant reminder – for this and future generations – of the many thousands from Ireland who died in those wars.”
Ms Mills said they were “delighted” that the joint initiative to erect the Cross of Sacrifice in Glasnevin Cemetery has reached this important milestone.