Europe

Battle of the Somme: Republic of Ireland remembers war dead

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Media captionIn Dublin, a military ceremonial event was held at the War Memorial Gardens at Islandbridge

The centenary of the Battle of the Somme has been marked with ceremonies in the Republic of Ireland.

In Dublin, a military ceremonial event was held at the War Memorial Gardens at Islandbridge.

Image copyright Irish Defence Forces
Image caption The names of 49,400 Irish casualties of WW1 are listed on the National War Memorial at Islandbridge

A military service was also held at the Mall in Cork.

Irish President Michael D Higgins travelled to Thiepval in France to pay tribute to the Irishmen who died while serving in the British, Commonwealth or US armies.

Image copyright Morgan-Wells/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Image caption Thousands of Irish men were killed during the Battle of the Somme

He was accompanied by the the Irish minister for arts, heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys.

The village of Thiepval in France is close to where the 36th Ulster Division began their attack on German lines on 1 July 1916 and is now the site of the Ulster Memorial Tower, a 70ft (21m) monument which commemorates their sacrifice.

Image copyright Irish Defence Forces
Image caption The ceremony in Dublin was attended by members of the Irish Defence Forces and the Royal British Legion

Men from all over the island of Ireland fought at the Somme, and the service in France will also be attended by representatives from the British and French governments also.

Many people from the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, including relatives of Somme veterans, have travelled to Thiepval for the commemoration event.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Irish President Michael D Higgins travelled to Thiepval in France to pay tribute to the Irishmen who died

The ceremony in Dublin began at 07:28 local time - the time the battle started 100 years ago.

It was attended by members of the Irish Defence Forces and the Royal British Legion.

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