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Sgt, Henry O'Brien, Capt. Peter Hayles, and Sgt. Mark Riordan 5th BTY 1 Bar at the flag raising cermony to mark the opening of the First World War Memorial Room at Camden Fort Meagher in Crosshaven, Co. Cork.Picture David Creedon / Anzenberger
Sgt, Henry O'Brien, Capt. Peter Hayles, and Sgt. Mark Riordan 5th BTY 1 Bar at the flag raising cermony to mark the opening of the First World War Memorial Room at Camden Fort Meagher in Crosshaven, Co. Cork.Picture David Creedon / Anzenberger
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Camden Fort Meagher opens World War I memorial room

AS CORK gears up for Remembrance Day on Sunday, Camden Fort Meagher has hosted the opening of a memorial room for the Irish soldiers that served in the British Army during World War I.

Members of the flag party, Sgt. Mark Riordan and Capt. Peter Hayles and Sgt. Henry O'Brien lower their flags for the Last Post at the opening of Camden Fort Meagher First World War Memorial Room in Crosshaven, Co. Cork. Picture David Creedon / Anzenberger
Members of the flag party, Sgt. Mark Riordan and Capt. Peter Hayles and Sgt. Henry O'Brien lower their flags for the Last Post at the opening of Camden Fort Meagher First World War Memorial Room in Crosshaven, Co. Cork. 

Picture David Creedon / Anzenberger

It is 100 years since the ending of the conflict with a number of events taking place around Cork this week.

At Camden Fort Meagher, the flag of each of the 18 regiments in which Irish soldiers served have been hung, while a memorial book for visiting family members has been opened in the facility which has a dedicated research centre.

A model of the landmark battlefronts was also restored for the occasion.

Tánaiste Simon Coveney, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade performing the official opening of Camden Fort Meagher First World War Memorial Room in Crosshaven, Co. Cork. Also included are Sharon Corcoran, Cork County Council, Dominic Daly, Honorary Consul of Belgium, German Ambassador to Ireland, her Excellency Frau Deike Potzel, Ambassador of France in Ireland, His Excellency Stephane Crouzat , Robin Barnett, British Ambassador to Ireland and Patrick Gerard Murphy,Mayor of Cork County.Picture David Creedon / Anzenberger
Tánaiste Simon Coveney, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade performing the official opening of Camden Fort Meagher First World War Memorial Room in Crosshaven, Co. Cork. Also included are Sharon Corcoran, Cork County Council, Dominic Daly, Honorary Consul of Belgium, German Ambassador to Ireland, her Excellency Frau Deike Potzel, Ambassador of France in Ireland, His Excellency Stephane Crouzat , Robin Barnett, British Ambassador to Ireland and Patrick Gerard Murphy,Mayor of Cork County.

Picture David Creedon / Anzenberger

Tánaiste Simon Coveney opened the event, while the British ambassador, French ambassador and German ambassador all attended the event as did representatives of the Belgian consulate and Indian embassy as well as the Flag Officer of the Navy. The memorial room covers the period from the inception of Irish regiments over the centuries to the time of their disbandment or absorption into other regiments and is informed by the tireless work of researchers Tom Burnell and Gerry Conroy.

The room and research centre is the Garden of Remembrance, located in the shadow of the Crimea Tree. The garden consists of 400 miniature crosses of remembrance and where the relatives of those who have been researched are inducted at special ceremonies that take place in September each year.

Piper Grainne Walsh from the Ballypheane Pipe Band plays Amazing Grace at the opening of Camden Fort Meagher First World War Memorial Room in Crosshaven, Co. Cork. Picture David Creedon / Anzenberger
Piper Grainne Walsh from the Ballypheane Pipe Band plays Amazing Grace at the opening of Camden Fort Meagher First World War Memorial Room in Crosshaven, Co. Cork. 

Picture David Creedon / Anzenberger

Volunteer committee chairman at Camden Fort Meagher Noel Condon said it’s important to mark the efforts of Irishmen in the Great War.

“The event was absolutely packed and the Tánaiste made an incredible speech. We had about 250 invited guests and the reaction was brilliant. County Mayor Patrick Gerard Murphy made a fantastic speech as well.

“There were 350 British soldiers stationed in Camden Fort Meagher and the Tánaiste and ambassadors were made aware that they were walking in the footsteps of those men 100 years ago as they received news and rejoiced that World War I had ended.

“The fort is very much part of World War I and that’s why we are able to tell the story of what happened here.

“You had thousands leaving Cork every year going to the battlefronts.

“Organising the event was a challenge but one that we took on and it was a success.

“Coming to the fort is like stepping back in time because it is as it was 100 years ago when the War ended,” he added.

Daniel Maverley, Crosshaven and Kieran Stevens, Mayfield of the Garrison Command Reenactment group on duty at the opening of the First World War Memorial Room at Camden Fort Meagher, Crosshaven, Co. Cork. Picture David Creedon / Anzenberger
Daniel Maverley, Crosshaven and Kieran Stevens, Mayfield of the Garrison Command Reenactment group on duty at the opening of the First World War Memorial Room at Camden Fort Meagher, Crosshaven, Co. Cork. 

Picture David Creedon / Anzenberger

When the war started in August 2014, three Irish regiments, the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, the Royal Irish Rifles and the Royal Irish Fusiliers were involved in the first conflicts on French soil.

Irish men volunteered in their thousands and new battalions were formed as a result.

Irish-born men also joined Irish regiments such as the Irish Guards, the London (Irish), the Tyneside battalions of the Northumberland Fusiliers and the 1st/8th (Irish) Kings Liverpool Regiment, while others joined English, Scottish and Welsh regiments, the Royal, Artillery, the Royal Flying Corps, the Medical Corps, the Army Service Corps, and the Royal Navy. Women served as nurses in the Voluntary Aid Detachment in the front line.

The memorial room at the fort will maintain a record of the Irish that enlisted in the British forces in the War. Over 4,000 Corkmen died in the conflict between 1914 and 1918.

The memorial flags were sponsored by the Irish branch of the Royal British Legion.