Minister Flanagan unveils First World War memorial18 September 2014
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Charlie Flanagan TD, today unveiled a memorial at Woodenbridge, Co. Wicklow to commemorate local people who died as a result of World War One.
Fifteen granite pillars listing the names of those who died in the conflict will be located alongside the old railway bridge on the river bank at Woodenbridge; the location for the famous speech made by John Redmond MP on 20 September 1914, when he called on members of the Irish Volunteers to enlist in the British Army to fight in the war.
Speaking at the event, which takes place on the 100th anniversary of the passing of the Home Rule Act, Minister Flanagan said:
"I am pleased to support the people of Wicklow today as they commemorate those who lost their lives in World War One. I am also keenly aware that this monument is being dedicated one hundred years to the day after the passing of the Home Rule Act that represented the culmination of a lifetime's democratic struggle for John Redmond and the decades of parliamentary effort by the Irish Parliamentary Party.
Minister Flanagan continued:
“Respectfully commemorating the diverse aspects of our past must be a collective effort of local organisations, like those involved in Woodenbridge, our national cultural institutions and our historians, as well as the engagement of writers and artists, our media and the participation of people from every walk of life.
“At the political level, we have seen concerted efforts across parties, as well as North and South, and across these islands, to ensure that our remembrance of this period is marked by genuine respect. Ultimately however, the best commemoration of the men and women of this extraordinary time in Irish history is to take their greatest hopes, their best principles and their practical determination and to be inspired by them.”
Minister Heather Humphreys, whose Department for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, is providing funding for the project, also welcomed the memorial as a positive contribution to the ongoing commemorative programme for the Decade of Centenaries.
The Woodenbridge memorial is the result of the work of the Wicklow War Memorial Committee, which was established in 2011 with a view to developing a memorial to the Wicklow World War 1 dead. The Committee decided that the memorial would display the names of natives and residents of County Wicklow who had lost their lives, either directly or indirectly, as a result of World War 1.
A total of 1,192 names are listed on the 15 granite pillars. The Woodenbridge Village Development Association was approached in 2012 and agreed to take on the project. Work commenced in the summer of this year and was completed in time for the target date of September 2014.
Note to Editors:
To date funding for the Woodenbridge project has been provided by:
The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Wicklow County Partnership, Wicklow County Council, Arklow Town Council, Bray Town Council, local fundraising and personal donations.
List of names and location:
Mr Brendan Flynn of Wicklow produced the list of 1,192 names. It is acknowledged that this list may not be a definitive document, but it is reflective of 20 years of work that entailed accessing all available documentation.
It was agreed that Woodenbridge would be the most suitable site in Wicklow as it was the location for John Redmond’s Speech on 20th Sept 1914.