Remembrance Sunday: Orange Order in historic Dublin wreath ceremony
By Lyra McKee
On Saturday, around 15 or so people gathered in the rain on Dublin’s Mount Street Bridge to lay a wreath of poppies in what is believed to have been the Orange Order’s first public event in Dublin since 1936.
The commemoration had been deliberately kept low-key, with no publicity or press statements issued beforehand
“Hopefully, there’ll be no vandalism,” said Chris Thackaberry, one of the organisers.
Given that it was the day before Remembrance Sunday, a passer-by wouldn’t have found anything particularly remarkable about the scene.
Thousands of Irishmen and women served in the two World Wars. The Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, formally paid tribute to them when he attended a commemoration in Northern Ireland three years ago. Speaking after the event, the then Tanaiste, Eamon Gilmore, said: “There isn’t a village or town anywhere on the island of Ireland that was not touched by the great wars of the 20th century.”
Yet Saturday’s event was significant. It’s thought that the last time the Order held a public event in the Irish capital was 1936 – commemorating British soldiers who died during the 1916 rebellion.
Organised by members of the Dublin and Wicklow Loyal Orange Lodge and The Reform Group – which lobbies for the Republic of Ireland to rejoin the Commonwealth – the poppy wreath was laid in remembrance of members of the Sherwood Foresters.
This British Army regiment sustained significant casualties during a gun battle with rebel volunteers under Eamon de Valera’s command near Mount Street Bridge in April 1916.
“In many respects, these lads probably didn’t know the political situation in Ireland,” said Mr Thackaberry, a senior member of the Dublin and Wicklow LOL who splits his time between Northern Ireland and Dublin.
“They just landed in Kingstown and some of them thought they were in France. There were 214 casualties in total,” he said.
You can read the full article on the Belfast Telegraph Website
Courtesy of Belfast Telegraph