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World War One memorial to be unveiled at the civic buildings

Mid-Louth Civic Services Centre at Fair Green, Ardee which houses the Louth County Council, Ardee Town Council, Office of Public Works and Ardee Court House

Mid-Louth Civic Services Centre at Fair Green, Ardee which houses the Louth County Council, Ardee Town Council, Office of Public Works and Ardee Court House

Ardee Town Council will unveil a memorial to the people from the town and mid-Louth who lost their lives in the First World War.

Myles Dungan of RTE will unveil the memorial in the newly designed garden at the town’s civic buildings at 7.30pm this Friday evening.

This will be one of the final ceremonies carried out by the council before it is disbanded.

The final council meeting took place this week.

The council sought the opinion of the public on a memorial art project to commemorate the people from Ardee who fought and died in World War 1 and in other conflicts.

It was Fianna Fail councillor Padraig McKenny who developed the idea but it had the support of all councillors.

An information night was held for members of the public so that they could come forward with any ideas.

About thirty people from the Ardee area were killed in the First World War and Cllr McKenny felt that something should be erected to their memory in this the year centenary year of the war.

Cllr McKenny also suggested that The Unreturned Army by historian Donal Hall, could be used for research on this project as it is “a great source of information”.

Mr Hall’s book is regarded as the definitive record of all the people from Louth who fought and died in the First World War and it also gives an accurate view of Irish nationalism and conflicting loyalties that prevailed at the time.

Recruitment in mid-Louth may have been high because of the presence of the Garsten family at Braganstown House and the Bellingham family in Castlebellingham.

Sixty-one men from Ardee enlisted in the British armed forces.

But at a meeting of the Ardee Board of Guardians in May 1915, it was stated that 90 per cent of working class men from Ardee were at the front, and that 105 or 106 men had left Ardee and some of them had now, sadly, lost their lives in the conflict.

This memorial will be a wonderful testament to all those from the area who gave their lives in the First World War and the council members are to be commended in making this one of their final contributions to the history and Ardee and all its people. Remember, Myles Dungan will unveil the plaque at 7,30pm on Friday.

 
 
 

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