Northern Ireland news

Armistice Day commemorations held across the north

DUP leader Arlene Foster and Fine Gael TD Heather Humphreys pay their respects at Enniskillen Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday. Picture by Ronan McGrade, Pacemaker
Rebecca Black, Press Association

THE centenary of the end of the First World War was marked across Northern Ireland yesterday as part of the annual Remembrance Day commemorations.

DUP leader Arlene Foster and Irish government minister Heather Humphreys laid wreaths at the cenotaph in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh.

Hundreds gathered in the narrow streets to watch a musical procession, including a brass band and bagpipes, before representatives of the four main churches led a service.

The IRA bombing of Enniskillen on Remembrance Sunday in 1987 killed 12 people.

Several of the victims' families attended yesterday's event, which began with a lone piper playing at Enniskillen Castle before dawn.

One of the biggest commemorations in the north took place at the cenotaph at Belfast City Hall.

Secretary of State Karen Bradley and Tánaiste Simon Coveney attended as well as representatives from the main churches and PSNI Deputy Chief Constable Stephen Martin.

Sinn Fein's Belfast Lord Mayor Deirdre Hargey did not attend.

A party spokesman said that its representatives will not take part in events which "celebrate or attempt to legitimise British imperialism".

Deputy Lord Mayor Emmet McDonough-Brown instead represented the city.

However, Sinn Féin vice president Michelle O'Neill did attend an Armistice service at St Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin.

A special service to mark the centenary of Armistice Day was held at St Anne's cathedral in Belfast yesterday afternoon.

Archbishop Eamon Martin attended the service - the first time a Catholic primate has spoken at such an event.

Mrs Bradley and DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson were also among the guests. And poet Michael Longley read his celebrated work Ceasefire, published around the time of the 1994 IRA ceasefire.

The service at the Belfast cathedral took place at the same time as services in Dublin, Glasgow and Cardiff.

Yesterday morning, beaches in counties Down, Derry and Donegal were among than 30 across Ireland and Britain to host special Armistice Day art projects created by film-maker Danny Boyle.

Sand portraits were created at Murlough Beach in Co Down, Portstewart Strand and Downhill Beach in Co Derry, and Port Bán in Co Donegal.

Portraits of soldiers and civilians who died in the First World War were stencilled in the sand before they were washed away by the tide as part of Boyle's Pages of the Sea project.

To mark the end of the commemorations last night, several beacons were lit across the north - including at Belfast City Hall, Guildhall Square in Derry and St Macartin's Cathedral in Enniskillen.

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