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Eastbourne & Willingdon Lib Dems

Eastbourne MP commemorates Irish WWI fallen

March 18, 2014 4:40 PM

Stephen Lloyd MP this week paid tribute to the men and women of Ireland who lost their lives fighting in the British Army during the First World War.

As part of the series of commemorations taking place over the next four years, Stephen tabled an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons this week to honour the sacrifice made by men and women from the island of Ireland during WWI, and praised the initiatives promoting peace between the Republic and Northern Ireland.

In particular, the EDM highlights the work being done by the Journey of Reconciliation Trust, which established the Island of Ireland Peace Park at Messines, where the 16th (Irish) and 36th (Ulster) Divisions fought side by side during the battle for the Messines Ridge in June 1917.

Stephen, who is the Northern Ireland spokesman for the Liberal Democrats, said: "The First World War was a tragedy for a whole generation of the UK and Ireland's young men, and in paying our respects I am reminded of the dedication, bravery and resilience that these soldiers displayed. In particular, I am struck by the spirit of co-operation and common purpose exhibited by those from both sides of Ireland's divide during a time when domestic tensions ran high."

He added: "My maternal grandfather from Co. Mayo, Anthony Meenehan, signed up with the British Army along with many of his friends and fought at the Somme. Many Irish joined up and it is important that their sacrifice is recognised. In Eastbourne, over 1,000 men paid the ultimate price and we will also remember them at a number of important commemorative events throughout the year."