Bray People - - NEWS - By DAVID MED­CALF

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.

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