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Minister Flanagan announces 7th June centenary commemoration of the Battle of Messines Ridge


Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charles Flanagan, T.D., today announced the joint Ireland – UK commemoration of the centenary of the Battle of Messines and the opening of a public ballot to attend the 7th June ceremony.

Announcing the event, Minister Flanagan said “Almost a century ago, on the 7th June 1917, men and women from across the island of Ireland took part in the Battle of Messines in Flanders, Belgium. For the first time during World War One, soldiers from the 36th (Ulster) Division and the 16th (Irish) Division fought side by side. Those from the island of Ireland were brought together by diverse motivations but they shared a common purpose as soldiers and, caught up in the grim realities of war, no doubt a common desire: to survive and return home.”

The Minister added “On the centenary, 7th June 2017, a ceremony in memory of all those who fought in the Battle of Messines Ridge, will take place at the Island of Ireland Peace Park, Messines. Jointly led by the Irish and UK Governments, in partnership with the Messines authorities, the ceremony will reflect the spirit of reconciliation which the two Divisions have come to symbolise.

I am pleased to announce this commemorative ceremony and to invite members of the public who wish to attend to express their interest in doing so.”

More details on the ceremony and how to express interest in attending are available on

Press Office
21 April 2017


Notes to Editors:

1. On 7th June, the centenary of the start of the Battle of Messines Ridge, an island of Ireland commemoration, jointly led by the Governments of Ireland and the UK, in partnership with the Mayor of Messines, will take place at 14.00 at the Island of Ireland Peace Park.

2. Expressions of interest are now being sought from individuals interested in attending the Battles of Messines Ridge Centenary Commemoration, at the Island of Ireland Peace Park on 7 June 2017.

3. All those interested in applying for a public ticket are asked to submit a query here.

4. Given the likely level of interest in attending this ceremony, tickets cannot be guaranteed to all who apply and tickets may be allocated through a ballot system.

5. Priority will be given to the relatives of those who fought in the battle and persons who can provide demonstrable evidence of a particular interest in, or link to, commemoration of the Battle of Messines, in a context of reconciliation.

6. Further information on logistics for the ceremony will follow in due course.

7. The closing date for expressions of interest is Friday 5th May 2017 at 12 noon.