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Taoiseach attends joint Messines Commemorations

20170608 Messines Post

The Duke of Cambridge, Prince William and Taoiseach Enda Kenny lay wreaths

Taoiseach Enda Kenny, the Duke of Cambridge and Princess Astrid of Belgium jointly attended commemorations for the Battle of Messines Ridge in Belgium yesterday.

The visit marked the 100th anniversary of the start of the historic Battle, which was hugely symbolic as it was the first time that the 16th (Irish) and 36th (Ulster) Divisions fought alongside each other during the First World War.

The Taoiseach first visited the grave of Major William Redmond, M.P., in Locre.

The Taoiseach then joined the Duke of Cambridge and Princess Astrid at the Island of Ireland Peace Park for a commemorative ceremony, jointly organised by the Irish and UK Governments, in partnership with the Mayor of Messines. The Park is a memorial to the 50,000 Irish war dead.

This commemorative event included a wreath laying ceremony, readings by members of the Irish Defence Forces and British Army representatives as well as musical contributions by the Royal Band of the Belgian Navy. The Taoiseach, the Duke and Princess Astrid will lay wreaths at the Round Tower in the Park before meeting invited guests, including descendants of those who fought at the Battle.

Read the press release here.