Wexford pays tribute to its fallen at Remembrance service
WEXFORD remembered its war dead at an ecumenical Remembrance Day service at St Iberius Church and wreath laying at the War Memorial in Redmond Square.
The civic and ecumenical service, with political, clerical, garda and military representation and almost all of Wexford's voluntary emergency rescue services was for the first time broadcast live on South East Radio.
Canon Arthur Minion led the service and the Loch Garman Band accompanied the congregational hymns and played selected music associated with Remembrance Day, including Edward Elgar's 'Nimrod'.
During the service, tributes were paid to all those who have died in conflicts, with the 1914-18 war claiming the greatest number of Wexford lives.
Retired Irish Army Captain. Ciaran Kavanagh, spoke about the tragedy that was the Great War and about one of the almost 900 Wexford men who died in the terrible conflict, Patrick Cleary, from Barntown, who served in the Royal Welch Fusiliers.
Beneath clear. bright skies, and following the church service, Mayor Cllr Jim Moore was amongst those who laid wreaths at the war memorial on behalf of the people of Wexford.
He spoke about the sacrifices of Wexford people and of the role played by one of Wexford's most famous sons, Major Willie Redmond, who was killed in action in June, 1917.
'It is both fitting and poignant that it is this location that we gather to remember them. The Ireland of 1914 was a different landscape economically socially and politically,' said Cllr Moore.
'This square commemorates the Redmond Family including John Redmond, Leader of the Home Rule Party and one of the most famous and influential political voices of the era. It was John Redmond, Leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party, worked tirelessly for a sovereign Parliament in Dublin.
'His work was rewarded when the Irish Home Rule Bill was passed in 1914. However it was shelved for the duration of the Great War. Under these circumstances Redmond called for the volunteers to join up and fight in war for small nations - the war that was to end all wars.
'Many Irish families faced the ultimate sacrifice in this war - that of losing family members including the Redmond's when Major Willie Redmond at 56 years of age lost his life at the battle of Messines Ridge in June 1917,' said the mayor.
'Today we gather as a community to embrace the memory of our fallen men and to cherish all they died for. The relevance of their sacrifice is all the more poignant when we study our world today with its ever increasing division and intolerance,' he said.
Anthony Nolan played The Last Post and Reveille, both at the church and at the memorial and Chief Supt John Roche and Cllr Moore gave the readings.