Remembrance Sunday: First Minister Peter Robinson and Secretary of State Theresa Villiers attend Belfast commemoration

Secretary of State Theresa Villiers and First Minister Peter Robinson were among the dignitaries attending Remembrance Sunday commemorations at Belfast City Hall this morning.

Crowds braved heavy rainfall to attend the 11am commemoration at the Cenotaph.

First Minister Peter Robinson laying Remembrance Sunday wreath laying at the Cenotaph in the grounds of Belfast City Hall on November 8, 2015 Belfast, Northern Ireland

First Minister Peter Robinson laying Remembrance Sunday wreath laying at the Cenotaph in the grounds of Belfast City Hall on November 8, 2015 Belfast, Northern Ireland

The band of the Royal Irish Regiment played during a wreath-laying ceremony.

Speaking after the ceremony, Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP, who laid a wreath on behalf of the British Government said: “In Belfast today with Northern Ireland’s First Minister, the Lord Lieutenant of Belfast and the Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs, we remember the courage and sacrifice of this country’s armed forces.

“Today’s service was made particularly poignant as we approach 2016 and the centenary of the Somme which will have special resonance in Northern Ireland.

“We owe all the men and women who have served in the armed forces over the past hundred years a deep debt of gratitude.”

Theresa Villiers during Remembrance Sunday wreath laying

Theresa Villiers during Remembrance Sunday wreath laying

Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charles Flanagan, who also attended the ceremony to lay a laurel wreath, said: “I am pleased to represent the Irish Government for the second year at the Remembrance Sunday commemoration at Belfast City Hall.

“Men and women from across the island and from all traditions were involved in the First World War, and today’s ceremony is an important opportunity to reflect on their lives and to recognise the impact that this conflict had on countless thousands of families.”

More than 200,000 Irish-born soldiers served in the British Army and Navy from 1914 to 1918.

Thousands also joined Britain during the Second World War.