28/10/14

28/10/2014: Minister Humphreys travels to Belgium for WW1 memorial events

Minister Humphreys travels to Belgium for WW1 memorial events – Google research project on WW1 to be launched as part of trip

The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys, is today (Tuesday) travelling to the Flanders region of Belgium to attend a number of World War 1 commemorative events. As part of the trip the Minister will launch a new Google online exhibition on Irish involvement in World War 1, which will be available on Google’s Cultural Institute.

Minister Humphreys will also announce a bursary scheme that will enable Irish students to carry out a World War 1 research project at the Flanders Field Museum. As part of the research project, Irish students will aim to improve our knowledge of how many Irish men were killed during the war by examining records held at the Museum.

The Minister will this afternoon attend a ceremony with the King and Queen of Belgium at the King Albert I Monument at Nieuwpoort, which is a memorial to the war dead. This will be followed a ceremony at the Menin Gate in Ypres, where King Philip will lay a wreath. The event will be addressed by the Belgium Prime Minister, Charles Michel.

The Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing in Ypres bears the names of more than 54,000 officers and men who fought for the British Commonwealth and who fell in the Ypres Salient during the First World War before 16 August 1917, but who have no known grave.

Speaking in advance of the commemorative ceremonies, Minister Humphreys said:“I am pleased to represent the Irish Government at this event, in recognition of the Irish men who died fighting in World War 1. It is important that they are remembered during this Decade of Centenaries and that their sacrifices are recognised.”

Speaking about the Google event, Minister Humphreys said “I am delighted to participate in this launch of Google’s on-line exhibition on Irish involvement in WW1 produced by the Flanders Field Museum.  Displaying the exhibition on Google’s Cultural Institute will give millions of users a chance to learn about Ireland’s engagement during the War.  It also means the Exhibition can be promoted on the Cultural Institute’s G+ channel which has more than five million followers.

“I am also delighted to announce that my Department is working with Google and the Flanders Field Museum to  develop a bursary scheme early next year to allow Irish history students spend time at the Flanders Field Museum  helping to update the Irish war dead records held at the Museum, many of which need correcting and cross-checking.  This scheme will play an important part in connecting young Irish people with the realities of this awful conflict in which so many from the island of Ireland fought and died.”

ENDS

Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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