State Marks Centenary of Death of Thomas Kettle MP

  • Minister Flanagan honours Thomas Kettle, “a true European”.
  • Minister also launches World War I photography exhibition

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan TD, represented the Government today at a State Ceremonial event marking the centenary of the death of Thomas Kettle MP.  

Lieutenant Tom Kettle was a renowned Irish poet, statesman and soldier who died during the Battle of the Somme in 1916. Today’s ceremony was attended by many members of the extended Kettle family, a number of whom took part in the ceremony.

The event was organised by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, with input from and participation by the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade and the Defence Forces.

In paying tribute to Lieutenant Kettle, Minister Flanagan said:

“A politician, poet, parliamentarian and a true European, Tom Kettle was a hugely important figure and the death of this proud nationalist was not only a loss for his family and friends but a huge loss to Ireland.

“Ireland in the early years of statehood could only have been enriched by someone of his intellect and talents and his loss is a reminder of the tragedy of a generation from across Europe who were caught up in the slaughter of World War I.”

The Minister added:

“I can think of no more fitting tribute to their memory than to cherish the peace and stability we have in Europe today and to seek ways of extending this beyond our borders to parts of the world experiencing the horrors of war today.” 

The ceremony, which included a wreath laying by the Minister and members of the Kettle Family, took place in St. Stephen’s Green, where a memorial bust to Kettle is situated.

As part of the day’s commemorative events, Minister Flanagan also launched an exhibition, “Fields of Battle, Lands of Peace”, a series of photographs by photographer Mike Sheils which focus on the battlefields of the World War I and which will be on display at the Lime Walk on the northern end of in St. Stephen’s Green until  mid-October.

Launching the photographic exhibition, the Minister said:

“These stunning landscape photographs, which will be on display in St Stephens Green until mid-October, show the battlefields of the World War I as they are today and highlight the contrast with the terrible events of a century ago.

“I am pleased that it was possible to bring this exhibition to Dublin as part of the Government’s Somme Centenary Programme and our commitment to commemorating all of the key events during this Decade of Centenaries. “


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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