Nowhere to Pay Our Respects’: Constructing Memorials for The Irish Dead of World War I in the Republic of Ireland, 2006-2018

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Commemoration centred on First World War memorials has been a constant feature of civic life across the UK and many European countries over the past century, however Ireland’s experience is different. While a number of war memorials were unveiled post-1918, their significance as sites of commemoration declined after 1939. However, recent political developments have facilitated a new wave of public commemoration and remembrance expressed through the construction of war memorials. Using case studies, this chapter traces the key agents of remembrance, seeking to establish their motivations in creating these memorials. Other themes include the design and symbolism of the memorials, how they are funded and their ‘geography’ in relation to their siting. In assessing the memorials as foci for remembrance, the chapter concludes that the political nature of remembrance and commemoration continues as it always has, to excite responses and reactions.

Jonathan Cherry School of History and Geography, Dublin City University, Ireland