MSP represents Parliament at joint Anglo-Irish remembrance ceremony

MSP Michael McMahon represented the Scottish Parliament at a special World War One British and Irish reconciliation ceremony in Flanders.
MSP Michael McMahon represented the Scottish Parliament at a special World War One British and Irish reconciliation ceremony in Flanders.

MSP Michael McMahon represented the Scottish Parliament at a special World War One British and Irish reconciliation ceremony in Flanders.

The Uddingston and Bellshill MSP took part in the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly visit to Commonwealth War graves where he attended a number of wreath laying ceremonies for those who lost their lives in the conflict.

The visit was part of a peace and reconciliation programme involving politicians from all of the political parties elected to the various Parliaments in both Britain and Ireland.

Mr McMahon visited memorials to the fallen from Scotland and Wales as well as the Island of Ireland Peace Park and Tyne Cot, the biggest Commonwealth War Grave cemetery in the world at Zonnebeke.

It is located in the area of the Ypres Salient Battlefields in Belgium and is the resting place of 11,954 soldiers of the Commonwealth Forces.

The visit concluded with Mr McMahon joining hundreds of townspeople and visitors at the daily ceremony held at the Menin Gate War memorial in Ypres which contains the names of over 55,000 men and women who lost their lives.

Mr McMahon said: “The British Irish Parliamentary Assembly has been working hard for some time to ensure that the peace process in Ireland continues to develop as strongly as possible.

“A series of historical events have been identified over the coming years which we hope can be used to create greater understanding and respect between the divided communities on our islands and this was one of the most important of those events.

“The visit to the Scottish War Memorial was very moving, as was the ceremony at the Menin Gate.

“But the visit to the Island of Ireland Peace Park was the most important element of our programme.”