DUP angry as Britain humbled into asking EU for more time

British Prime Minister has been accused of “begging” the European Union for an extension on Brexit by a member of the DUP.

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Theresa May held talks with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel over the past few days. Continue reading “DUP angry as Britain humbled into asking EU for more time”

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Christabel Burton was an incredible Anglo-Irish woman who outsmarted Nazi interrogators to help free her husband from a concentration camp prison. Find out more.

BBC documentary about the life and work of Seamus Heaney

The BBC have announced they will broadcast a documentary about the life and work of the late Northern Irish poet and writer Seamus Heaney.

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Heaney won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1995 and is considered one of the greatest writers of his generation. Continue reading “BBC documentary about the life and work of Seamus Heaney”

Four unknown Irish soldiers buried 100 years after their deaths in The Great War

Burial services for four unknown Irish soldiers who died during the First World War have taken place on the Western Front.

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The first of two separate services took place at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) Messines Ridge British Cemetery near Ypres, Belgium on Tuesday 19th March with a second burial taking place on Wednesday 20th March at Guillemont Road Cemetery, on the Somme in France.

Colonel Des Bergin representing the Irish Embassy and Lieutenant Colonel Ret'd Dominic Hancock of the British Embassy lay wreaths at the graveside

The services, organised by the MOD’s Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC), part of Defence Business Services (DBS), were conducted by the Reverend Nathan King CF, Chaplain to 1st Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment. The bearer party at each service was composed of members of 1st and 2nd Battalions of The Royal Irish Regiment.

Despite extensive research, it was not possible for the JCCC to identify any of these soldiers due to the high numbers of casualties in both areas.

Rosie Barron, JCCC said: “It has been a privilege to organise these two services and to work with The Royal Irish Regiment to ensure these Irish soldiers have had the burial they deserve. Although their identities remain unknown, they are now at rest alongside their comrades and their sacrifices will not be forgotten.”

The first service (19 March) saw a soldier of The Royal Irish Rifles and an unknown soldier of an unknown regiment, laid to rest at Messines Ridge British Cemetery. The remains of these two soldiers had been discovered during work to widen a drainage ditch south west of the town of Wijtschate. Research, conducted by JCCC, shows they were most likely killed in either June 1917, during the Battle of Messines or in April 1918, during the Battle of the Lys.

The second burial service was for a soldier of The Connaught Rangers and an unknown soldier of an unknown regiment at Guillemont Road Cemetery. The remains of these two soldiers had been uncovered during work on a wind turbine project near the village of Guillemont. They are believed to have been killed in September 1916.

The Reverend Nathan King, said: “For our services of burial, we have commended the treasured remains of soldiers lost in conflicts of the First World War. These are moving events and reaffirm the loss incurred in conflict, for those killed and the sense of loss suffered by family members. Although soldiers die, some of them unknown, their lives are celebrated here, and their souls offered to God, as held in the beliefs of the Christian faith. People are never forgotten, and their lives honoured.”

Paul Bird, CWGC Recovery Officer said: “Although it has not been possible to identify these four soldiers, their service and sacrifice has not been forgotten. They have been laid to rest with respect and dignity alongside their comrades in Messines Ridge British Cemetery and Guillemont Road Cemetery. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission will proudly mark and care for their graves, together with all of those who served and fell, in perpetuity.”

More than 200,000 Irish soldiers fought with the British Army during the First World War. Many of them had been members of the Irish Volunteer Force, which had been set up to fight for Irish independence. They went to war after receiving assurances from the British government that Ireland would be granted Home Rule once the war ended.

However, the Easter Rising of 1916 changed the course of Irish history, with rebels demanding complete independence from Britain rather than just Home Rule, while still being answerable to the British government. Many of the Irish soldiers who fought in the war felt alienated when they returned to an Ireland that had changed completely since they had left four years earlier.

It is only in recent years that Ireland has been able to acknowledge and honour the part played by Irish soldiers in the British Army more than 100 years ago.

Brexiter starts petition to get Ireland to re-join the United Kingdom

Just when you think that Britain’s confused arrogance over Brexit must have reached its limit… something else happens to show you that there’s still some way to go.

The latest episode is a petition created by Brexit supporter Scott Packer urging the UK government to invite the Republic of Ireland to rejoin the United Kingdom as a way of resolving the current problem of the Northern Ireland border.

Continue reading “Brexiter starts petition to get Ireland to re-join the United Kingdom”

Irish bookie responds to British criticism of Ireland with mocking ad in Brexit supporting paper

Ireland has recently been subjected to growing anger and criticism from Brexit supporters frustrated by their inability to get the kind of deal they want as Britain leaves the European Union.

The onslaught has led to a caustic response from the Irish bookmaker Paddy Power, which is also one of the major gambling outlets in the UK.

Continue reading “Irish bookie responds to British criticism of Ireland with mocking ad in Brexit supporting paper”

Taoiseach Varadkar fears British soldiers may return to NI border as Ireland being ‘victimised’ by Brexit

Taoiseach Varadkar fears British soldiers may return to NI border as Ireland being ‘victimised’ by Brexit

Ireland’s Taoiseach Leo Varadkar says Ireland is being ‘victimised’ by the Brexit process and he now fears that British soldiers may return to the North.

That’s a scenario likely to send a shudder through those who remember and lived through the Troubles.

Continue reading “Taoiseach Varadkar fears British soldiers may return to NI border as Ireland being ‘victimised’ by Brexit”

Sinn Féin leader attacks Brexit Britain’s ‘blatant disregard for Ireland and peace process’

The President of Sinn Féin, Mary Lou McDonald has attacked the British government for a having a “blatant disregard” for Ireland and the need to uphold the Good Friday Agreement that has ensured peace in the North for the last 20 years.

Mrs McDonald made the comments after the former Brexit Secretary David Davis admitted that the UK government had a “blind spot” when it came to Ireland. He accepted that British ministers had failed to understand Ireland’s difficulties over Brexit.

Continue reading “Sinn Féin leader attacks Brexit Britain’s ‘blatant disregard for Ireland and peace process’”

Former Irish president Mary McAleese reveals her fights with Catholic Church and how Pope refused to shake hand

The former President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, has spoken about how she was treated with hostility by some leading figures in the Catholic Church and how Pope John Paul II refused to shake her hand when she met him.

Speaking at the Irish American Partnership in Boston, she described how the Pope instead of greeting her, turned to her husband and said: “Would you not prefer to be the president of Ireland instead of your wife?”

Continue reading “Former Irish president Mary McAleese reveals her fights with Catholic Church and how Pope refused to shake hand”

British Prime Minister Theresa May warns of a United Ireland if there’s a ‘No Deal’ Brexit

British Prime Minister Theresa May has warned that a ‘No Deal Brexit’ could lead to a United Ireland.

Mrs May was speaking in the build-up to the crucial vote in the House of Commons on the compromise Brexit deal, the Withdrawal Agreement, that she has negotiated with the European Union over the last two years.

Continue reading “British Prime Minister Theresa May warns of a United Ireland if there’s a ‘No Deal’ Brexit”