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First World War

Marking the Decade of Centenaries in an inclusive and historically accurate way reflects the Government’s approach to commemorations.

This has included Government representation at Remembrance Sunday ceremonies in Northern Ireland and in London in recent years. In 2015, the President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins, and the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr Charles Flanagan, participated in events in Turkey on the occasion of the centenary of the Gallipoli Campaign. In 2016, while the Easter Rising of 1916 will be a key focus of the commemorative programme, the centenary of the Battle of the Somme – in which thousands of people from all parts of the island of Ireland died – will also be marked.


Many of the key events and projects in the Ireland 2016 programme will reflect on Irish participation in the First World War, in particular the significance of the Battle of the Somme. The Embassy’s Lecture Series and many of the academic, community and cultural projects in the programme will explore the impact and significance of WW1 and the Battle of the Somme on Ireland and the reshaping of relations between our two islands.

A partnership project is being prepared by the National Museum of Ireland and the National Library of Ireland to facilitate a screening in the July-September period of an Imperial War Museum, London, 1916 documentary film of the Battle of the Somme. This will initially be shown by the Imperial War Museum on a single date in July at multiple viewing points

Details of other projects will be available here soon.

Recent events

In 2014, Ambassador Dan Mulhall represented Ireland for the first time at the Cenotaph since 1946. We had participated in this ceremony between 1922 and 1938 and again in 1945 and 1946. He also participated in 2015. You can read the Ambassador’s blog on his experience at the Cenotaph in London.

The Embassy’s Lecture Series is touching on many of the key themes of commemorations in 2015 too. As part of our Ireland 2016 programme, on the 11th November, the Embassy hosted a discussion with acclaimed historian Keith Jeffery, Professor of British History at Queen’s University Belfast and member of the RIA, to discuss his latest book 1916 – A Global History. 1916 – A Global History is a history of the First World War, told through the significant global events of 1916. As well as discussing battles such as Gallipoli, Verdun and the Somme, Prof. Jeffery examines the Easter Rising, East Africa, the Italian front, Central Asia and Russia.

We will have a podcast available shortly.

Online records of Ireland’s First World War casualties

Read about the project to bring online records of Ireland’s First World War casualties