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First and deputy First Ministers attend Battle of the Somme commemoration



First Minister Paul Givan and deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill have taken part in a special Somme Ceremony of Commemoration in Dublin to remember those who lost their lives in the battle. The annual remembrance ceremony and wreath laying was hosted by the Royal British Legion at the Irish National War Memorial, Islandbridge. First Minister Paul Givan said:


“It is a privilege to lay a wreath on behalf of the people of Northern Ireland in honour of all those who gave their lives for our freedom. “So many brave young people, soldiers, airmen, doctors, nurses and clergy were lost over the course of the five months of the Battle of the Somme, causing devastation to families and communities back home. “Today we recognise their unity of purpose and spirit of sacrifice and renew our pledge never to forget.”



Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill said:


“The Battle of the Somme was a hugely significant event in our shared history and it is right that we commemorate it in a respectful and inclusive way. “Thousands of people from across this island died at the Somme and it had a profound impact on their families and society over generations. “In laying a laurel wreath today, I was paying my respects to all those who lost their lives and remembering the enormous loss felt by so many. I hope my attendance here demonstrates my commitment to the principles of equality and parity of esteem for all identities and traditions on this island.”