RTE broatcaster and author Myles Dungan unveiled, on Friday evening last, the Ardee town Council’s memorial to all the people from the Ardee area who lost their lives in World War One.
He said military historians tend to claim that the poets of the day exaggerated the terror tragedy of the war, but he tended to be on the side of the poets when it came to recording the truth of the event.
He said the cenotaph erected by Ardee Town Council - the council’s last public ceremony - is one of the finest World War One monuments he has ever seen. And he reminded the large crowd gathered that there this is only the fourth such monument in the county.
The others are in Collon, Castlebellinghyam, and Drogheda There are moves to have a monument erected in Dundalk.
He also reminded people that of the 2,500 men who left this county to fight at the front, 840 of them died.
That was a one-in-three fatality rate. The national average was one-in-six.
He outlined some of the quoted reasons as to why people joined up.
Seamus Roe, President of the County Louth Archeological Society, presented Mr Dungan with a copy of Donal Hall’s book The Unreturned Army, the definitive history of Louth people who took paart in the First World War.
Robert McMullan from Ardee, whose father fought in World War One, alid a wreath at the cenotaph.
Cllr Fintan Malone, the last town council chairman, laid the council chain on the monument.
The colour party was formed by of the Organisation of Ex-Servicemen and Women led by Jim Fay, Leinster area president. Father John O’Leary, Ardee and Rev Michael Graham, Rector, Ardee and Drogheda, gave an ecumenical blessing.
Students from Ardee Community School read out the names of those who lost their lives. Ardee Concert Band members with Nicholas Callan on trumpet and Niall Doherty on drums playing The Last Post.
Francis Gogarty, contractor and sculptor, created the Cenotaph and plaques in memory of those who died and the wording was by Sean and Rosemary King.