Drogheda Independent - - FRONT PAGE - By HU­BERT MUR­PHY

THE hun­dreds of sol­diers from the re­gion who fought and died in World War I were re­mem­bered in a heart-ffelt cer­e­mony at the Great War Me­mo­rial at the bot­tom of Mary Str­reet on Satur­day.

This week­end marks the 100th an­niver­sary of the day the guns fell silent and Satur­day’s cer­e­mony fo­cused on remembrance and thanks­giv­ing and a hope of peace across the world.

Many peo­ple there had their per­sonal mem­o­ries, not least lo­cal poet Bri­die Maxwell. Her hus­band, Paddy, at­tended the cer­e­mony each year to hon­our his own links to the names etched on the cross.

He sadly passed away some months ago, but Bri­die at­tended and paid trib­ute in true fash­ion, with words from the heart.

Jimmy Duffy told of the days when old sol­diers would march in uni­son to the me­mo­rial. ‘My grand­fa­ther, James Mc­Quil­lan, fought’, he stated.

He said the me­mo­rial should also hon­our the many who re­turned from the war and lived with the im­pact for the rest of their lives.

Fr Phil Gaffney, Rev Kather­ine Poul­ton and Archdea­con James Car­roll con­cel­e­brated the cer­e­mony and wreaths were laid by the likes of Mayor God­frey, Col Dar­ren Do­herty of the Bri­tish Army, Supt An­drew Wat­ters, and rep­re­sen­ta­tives of other units and groups. Lucita Shorter also took part, in hon­our of her own de­scen­dants. The ONE pro­vided the colour party.

Neil O’Kennedy, Maria Clarke, Han­nah O’Brien, per­form­ing The Hills and Michael Holo­han, draw­ing from the words of Fran­cis Led­widge, com­pleted the cer­e­mony. Later, Fiona Ah­ern from Bellew­stown, gave a talk on the men of the re­gion who took part in the war.

‘We must re­mem­ber the mil­lions of sol­diers and thou­sands of Ir­ish­men – es­pe­cially the 320 of­fi­cers and men from Drogheda & Dis­trict - who gave their lives dur­ing The Great War,’ Mayor God­frey re­marked.

‘We are proud of our lo­cal sol­diers who made the ul­ti­mate sac­ri­fice and whose names are in­scribed on the bronze pan­els of this me­mo­rial, erected in 1925 in their hon­our.

‘ The First World War was in­deed a global con­flict, but still one which has a lo­cal res­o­nance, with names such as lo­cal poet Fran­cis Led­widge, lost in bat­tle. The hu­man im­pact of the con­flict was enor­mous – and had its ef­fects right here in Drogheda too.

‘By lay­ing a wreath an­nu­ally, we hon­our their sac­ri­fice – the ul­ti­mate sac­ri­fice of their lives – and show sol­i­dar­ity with and sup­port for their fam­i­lies, many of whom at­tend this cer­e­mony each year.’

Some of those at the remembrance cer­e­mony.

Col, Dar­ren Do­herty lay­ing a wreath at the Drogheda Me­mo­rial.

Olivia, Richard, Os­car and Emer Daw­son with Teddy the dog

Michael Hard­ing mem­ber of the O.N.E.

Mayor Go­drey ad­dresses the gath­er­ing

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