Northern Ireland

Remembrance Sunday: Commemorations take place in Northern Ireland

Leo Varadkar lays a wreath at the war memorial in Enniskillen Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Taoiseach Leo Varadkar placed a wreath at the war memorial in Enniskillen

Remembrance Sunday commemorations have taken place in towns and cities across Northern Ireland.

Politicians joined military veterans and members of the public to pay tribute to those who died during both world wars and later conflicts.

Belfast's memorial service took place at the Cenotaph beside City Hall.

Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar laid a green laurel wreath at the war memorial in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, on behalf of his government.

Image caption A ceremony took place at the war memorial at the Diamond in Londonderry

He continued the annual tradition set by his predecessor as taoiseach, Enda Kenny.

In 2012, Mr Kenny became the first taoiseach to attend Enniskillen's Remembrance Sunday ceremony.

Image caption Wreaths were laid at the war memorial in Enniskillen

His visit coincided with the anniversary of the Enniskillen bomb in 1987, when 12 people were killed by an IRA explosion at the town's war memorial.

Northern Ireland Secretary Julian Smith also attended the Enniskillen service on Sunday.

In Belfast, hundreds of people - including Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney - gathered for a service at the city's Cenotaph.

Mr Coveney said it was a privilege to attend the ceremony.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption A large crowd gathered at Belfast City Hall for the commemoration at the Cenotaph

"Remembrance Sunday is a really important day on this island, north and south," he said.

"Right across the island of Ireland we have appropriate and sombre commemorations recognising the fact that 35,000 people on this island died in the First World War.

"On days like this it's an opportunity to come together from different political perspectives... and show respect."

Wreaths were also laid at the war memorial at the Diamond in Londonderry.

Image caption It is important for people to "simply bow their heads and remember", says David Davis

David Davis, the chairman of the city's branch of the Royal British Legion, was one of those who took part in the ceremony.

"Today is very important because it's an act of remembrance for all those who have families serving and past-serving members who sacrificed their lives," he said.

"My own father served in the Second World War.

"He never talked about the war because he always said war was a cruel exercise on both sides."

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