Visit to Messines: Poignant trip for Enda Kenny

THERE could be few more poignant locations for Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s final overseas official duty than next week’s visit to Messines, scene of one of the most resounding battles of the First World War.

The ceremony will mark the centenary of an event which saw, for the first time, the 36th (Ulster) and the 16th (Irish) Divisions fight side by side on the Western Front. The battle opened with the simultaneous explosion of mines which measured as one of the largest non-nuclear explosions ever. The night before, the Second Army’s chief of staff laconically told the press: “Gentlemen, we may not make history tomorrow, but we will certainly change the geography.” When the mines went off in Flanders, they were heard in London.

The battle was a victory, and it is marked with new exhibits at the National Museum in Dublin. It demonstrated that the South and North of Ireland and the English could work together and overcome, qualities which will sorely be needed in the challenges ahead. Enda’s advisers have selected a symbolic finale, and they have chosen wisely.


Lifestyle

A decade on from their split, Nicole Scherzinger, Ashley Roberts, Kimberly Wyatt, Carmit Bachar and Jessica Sutta are back together for a tour of the UK and Ireland in April next year.The Pussycat Dolls: Using the second of their nine lives

Ellie O’Byrne paid a visit to the Kabin in Knocknaheeny to see the supportive atmosphere that gave rise to the duo behind the ‘Yeah Boy’ hit.You’d need to have had your head buried in the sand not to have come across MC Tiny and MC The King

Aoife Buckley, one of the recipients of this year's Gaisce Gold award: It's ok to be different.School Daze with Aoife Buckley: I started working towards the Gaisce Awards in third year

Festive seasons come and go, but some moments can never be forgotten, discovers Donal O’Keeffe.Stories of Christmas past and present

More From The Irish Examiner