War veterans are to hold a cross community memorial service to honour thousands of Irish men who lost their lives fighting for British forces, it emerged yesterday (Sunday).
The tribute in Drogheda, Co Louth, this coming Remembrance weekend will also mark the heroic actions of a soldier from the area who was awarded the Victoria Cross for bravery.
The trip will allow former soldiers to pay their respects to Inniskilling Fusilier Samuel Emerson who was posthumously awarded the VC after he was killed fighting at Cambrai with the 36th Ulster division.
A colour party of standard bearers and around 30 members of Whiteabbey Royal British Legion will travel for an inter-dominational service at the town's war memorial.
John Dumigan, Northern Ireland Royal British Legion vice chairman, said the event was arranged after the town's major extended an invitation.
"As a direct result, we were invited down to take part in the pre-Remembrance Day service last year, with a repeat invitation issued again by Gerald Nash, Drogheda mayor," Mr Dumigan said.
It is also hoped the visits north and south of the border will foster strong ties and deeper understanding between communities.
The ceremony in Drogheda was revived last year after a 30 year absence by then Fianna Fail mayor Sean Collins.
The memorial was built by public subscription in 1925 in memory of the 400 men from the area who fought and died in World War One.
Drogheda was also home to a second war hero. William Kenny earned the Victoria Cross for his brave actions while fighting with the British army between 1914 and 1918.