President Higgins lays wreathe in France for Irish killed in Battle of the Somme

President Higgins lays wreathe in France for Irish killed in Battle of the Somme
President Michael D Higgins at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Thiepval Memorial in Thiepval, France today. Picture: PA

Update 1.50pm: President Michael D Higgins has laid a wreath in memory of Irish soliders killed in the battle of the Somme.

Thousands of Irish men died in the over 100 days of battle at the French site in 1916.

This morning President Higgins joined the French President and leaders of the UK at a ceremony in Thiepval to mark the centenary of the battle.

A two-minute silence was held to mark what stands as one of the bloodiest conflicts of the First World War.

Earlier:

Commemorations are taking place in Ireland and in France to remember the thousands of people who lost their lives in the Battle of the Somme.

President Michael D Higgins will attend a series of commemorative events to mark the centenary of the French battle today along with Minister Heather Humphreys.

Humphreys, the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, has said it is a poignant time in Irish history.

President Higgins lays wreathe in France for Irish killed in Battle of the Somme

“I have been very keen during our 2016 centenary year that we remember those who died fighting aboard, as well as those who died fighting during the Rising here at home,” said Humphreys.

“It’s 100 years on from both (the) Easter Rising and the Battle of the Somme and we are hearing all of the narratives on the Irish experience, and the impact the events of that year had on our culture, our society and indeed our psyche.”


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