BRAVE SACRIFICE IS REMEMBERED
FORMER Taoiseach John Bruton recalled the 35,000-plus Irish men who died fighting in World War One when he attended a ceremony in Woodenbridge commemorating arrival of peace in 1918.
The Fine Geal politician was joined at war memorial beside the Avoca river by former servicemen and members of families involved in the conflict known as the Great War.
‘ The bravery and sacrifice of those who volunteered to serve in defence of neutral Belgium, and of France, is deservedly being remembered today in Woodenbridge,’ he commented.
‘ They gave their lives for freedom, not for their own freedom, but for the freedom of others, of Belgium and France. Fighting for the freedom of others is, in many ways, a higher calling.’
And he brought the lessons of the conflict up to date as he suggested that the European Union has provided a structure for peace, with system of rules replacing any impulse to engage in military conflict.
In this context, he took a swipe at Brexit, describing the UK’s move to break away from the EU as folly.
The guest speaker was introduced by memorial committee chairman Tom Curran who also called on Cllr Pat Vance to say a few words.
The Wicklow County Council chairman recalled his own family connections with the Great War, in which his grandfather took an active part.
Cllr Vance cut the ribbon on a collection of interpretive panels at the memorial park which trace the impact of the Great War on Wicklow.
The park already features a set of stones bearing the names of more than 1,200 people from the county who perished in the war.
Wreaths laid in memory of those who fought and died in World War One at the war memorial in Woodenbridge.