The centenary of World War I has been acknowledged already this year by several local authorities and academic centres. Regimental associations and ex-service organisations are arranging visits to battlefield sites. National cultural institutions are also organising special events and presentations. One such event will be a special day for the public hosted by Trinity College, in association with the National Library of Ireland and supported by RTÉ, to take place in Trinity College on 12 July next.
Special arrangements relating to the entry into the war are being made in Ireland, Britain and abroad in late July and early August.
In this regard, I would specifically mention the dedication of a memorial "Cross of Sacrifice" at Glasnevin Cemetery to take place on 31 July next to honour the memory of all Irish soldiers lost in the war and particularly those laid to rest there. This cross will be a welcome addition to the comprehensive and inclusive representation of Irish history on the site and is being brought forward in a partnership between Glasnevin Trust and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. This will complement the existing memorial walls relating to the dead of two World Wars, which were restored and relocated to a position of greater prominence within the cemetery, consistent with their significance in our modern history. My hope is that this new monument will cause the many visitors who come there to reflect on war and its consequences.