BISHOP of Cork Dr Paul Colton used the occasion of the centenary of Armistice Day to call for a permanent memorial with the names of all those from Cork who lost their lives in World War I.
As events were held to commemorate the end of the war, Dr Colton pointed out that some names were not inscribed anywhere.
“Thomas Warren was from 72 Grand Parade, he died 100 years ago last month,” Dr Colton said. “Thomas O’Meara lived at 23 Grand Parade. He was just 19. Where are their memorials?
“Of the c. 4,200 Cork people who died in this war some are remembered nowhere in Cork.
There are a number of memorials around the county but Dr Colton said that in some cases families had to pay to have their loved ones’ names added, meaning soldiers from poorer families were left out.
Dr Colton said: “Again I ask, is it not time that we should have one memorial where the humanity of Cork, city and county, regardless of religious affiliation, or none, are memorialised together?” he asked.
“It was all so local as we see in the names of the people and the places where they lived - they all deserve a local memorial here in Cork.”
St Fin Barre’s Cathedral was open as a place of pilgrimage on Saturday, with prayers of remembrance and for peace throughout the day.
“As I sat throughout yesterday keeping vigil in St Fin Barre’s Cathedral looking at the faces of those whose photographs we managed to collect, I saw people kneeling to pray, others leaving in tears, and others transfixed or stunned by it all,” Dr Colton said.
He paid tribute to five men from Cork who died on Armistice Day ‘having almost made it to the end’ - gunner D. Keating, leading seaman James Donovan, sergeant W. Looney, serjeant William Morrissey and private John O’Leary.
“When the bells rang out to signal the end of the war - there was no joy in those homes on this day,” Dr Colton said.
This weekend was the final opportunity to see ‘Putting Faces on the Names’, the Diocese’ visual display of people with a Cork connection who lost their lives in WWI. This has been running in St Fin Barre’s since 2014 and will now be archived.
There were also commemorations in Cobh, beginning with a special midday Mass in St Colman’s Cathedral followed by the unveiling of a brass plaque in St Benedict’s Priory Gardens honouring those who lost their lives as a result of the conflict.