News

In pictures: Varadkar says poppy should lie side by side with shamrock and lily

DUP leader Arlene Foster lays a wreath at the war memorial during events to remember the 12 victims of the IRA's 1987 Remembrance Sunday bomb attack in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh. Picture by Phil Fitzpatrick/PA Wire

TAOISEACH Leo Varadkar laid a laurel wreath at the Enniskillen site of an IRA Remembrance Sunday bombing at a commemoration 30 years after the deadly attack.

The bomb at the Cenotaph in the Co Fermanagh town killed 11 people outright and left 68 injured, with the 12th victim, Ronnie Hill, dying after 13 years in a coma.

Continuing the tradition of his predecessor Enda Kenny, Mr Varadkar joined DUP leader Arlene Foster, Secretary of State James Brokenshire and Chief Constable George Hamilton who also laid tributes.

Mr Varadkar said bridges between the north and south of Ireland should be built over the shared suffering of the First World War. He envisaged a day when the poppy could lay “side by side” with the Irish shamrock and the lily worn by nationalists to commemorate the Easter Rising.

He became the first taoiseach to wear a shamrock poppy at the Remembrance Sunday ceremony. “I am a strong believer that history is something we should understand and remember.

History should be our guide, we should never allow it to be our prisoner,” he said. “The dream that I have for an Ireland, is an Ireland in the future where the poppy, the shamrock and the lily can lie side by side. I think it is good to have those kind of dreams.”

Mr Varadkar quoted Willie Redmond, an Irish nationalist MP who wrote home a few days before he died on Flanders’ Field in 1917. “He said it would be a fine memorial to the men who died if we could, over their graves, build up a bridge between north and south.”

He said the names of Irish who died in the First World War were engraved on the wall of the school he attended in Dublin. Other identities were etched at his mother’s home town of Dungarvan, Co Waterford.

He recalled the “innocents” who died in the Poppy Day bombing in Enniskillen three decades ago. “In particular we remember those who answered that atrocity with forgiveness and led the way for so many of us into the future.”

DUP leader Arlene Foster said she was delighted to see Mr Varadkar. “This has now become a well-established tradition. “The taoiseach first came on the 25th anniversary of the Enniskillen bomb and I think it is lovely that that continues every year now and has come to be expected from people in Enniskillen.”

A two-minute silence was held at the Cenotaph at Belfast City Hall, where, led by Lord Mayor Nuala McAllister, wreaths were laid during a sombre memorial service.

The Republic’s culture minister Heather Humphreys was among the dignitaries who laid poppies at the foot of the monument. In Derry, a tree-planting ceremony was held at the Woodland Trust’s Brackfield Wood to remember soldiers from across Ireland who served in World War One.

12/11/17 PACEMAKER PRESS.The National Day of Remembrance taking in place outside Belfast City Hall. .PICTURE MATT BOHILL PACEMAKER PRESS.

Soldiers and veterans parade during events to remember the 12 victims of the IRA's 1987 Remembrance Sunday bomb attack in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday November 12, 2017. See PA story ULSTER Enniskillen. Photo credit should read: Phil Fitzpatrick/PA Wire.

12/11/17 PACEMAKER PRESS.The National Day of Remembrance taking in place outside Belfast City Hall. Irish TD Heather Humphreys lays a wreath in Belfast..PICTURE MATT BOHILL PACEMAKER PRESS.

12/11/17 PACEMAKER PRESS.The National Day of Remembrance taking in place outside Belfast City Hall. Lord Major Nuala McAllister lays a wreath..PICTURE MATT BOHILL PACEMAKER PRESS.

12/11/17 PACEMAKER PRESS.The National Day of Remembrance taking in place outside Belfast City Hall. Lord Major Nuala McAllister lays a wreath..PICTURE MATT BOHILL PACEMAKER PRESS.

12/11/17 PACEMAKER PRESS.The National Day of Remembrance taking in place outside Belfast City Hall. Irish TD Heather Humphreys lays a wreath in Belfast..PICTURE MATT BOHILL PACEMAKER PRESS.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar lays a wreath at the war memorial during events to remember the 12 victims of the IRA's 1987 Remembrance Sunday bomb attack in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday November 12, 2017. See PA story ULSTER Enniskillen. Photo credit should read: Phil Fitzpatrick/PA Wire.

DUP leader Arlene Foster lays a wreath at the war memorial during events to remember the 12 victims of the IRA's 1987 Remembrance Sunday bomb attack in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday November 12, 2017. See PA story ULSTER Enniskillen. Photo credit should read: Phil Fitzpatrick/PA Wire.

Veterans take part during events to remember the 12 victims of the IRA's 1987 Remembrance Sunday bomb attack in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday November 12, 2017. See PA story ULSTER Enniskillen. Photo credit should read: Phil Fitzpatrick/PA Wire.

(left to right) Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Secretary of State, James Brokenshire and DUP leader Arlene Foster, during events to remember the 12 victims of the IRA's 1987 Remembrance Sunday bomb attack in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday November 12, 2017. See PA story ULSTER Enniskillen. Photo credit should read: Phil Fitzpatrick/PA Wire.

People take part during events to remember the 12 victims of the IRA's 1987 Remembrance Sunday bomb attack in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday November 12, 2017. See PA story ULSTER Enniskillen. Photo credit should read: Phil Fitzpatrick/PA Wire.

Soldiers march during events to remember the 12 victims of the IRA's 1987 Remembrance Sunday bomb attack in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday November 12, 2017. See PA story ULSTER Enniskillen. Photo credit should read: Phil Fitzpatrick/PA Wire.

(left to right) Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Secretary of State, James Brokenshire and DUP leader Arlene Foster, during events to remember the 12 victims of the IRA's 1987 Remembrance Sunday bomb attack in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday November 12, 2017. See PA story ULSTER Enniskillen. Photo credit should read: Phil Fitzpatrick/PA Wire.

Veterans parade during events to remember the 12 victims of the IRA's 1987 Remembrance Sunday bomb attack in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday November 12, 2017. See PA story ULSTER Enniskillen. Photo credit should read: Phil Fitzpatrick/PA Wire.

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe from just £1 for the first month to get full access

Today's horoscope

Horoscope


See a different horoscope: