28/09/15

Minister Humphreys encourages interested Irish people to apply for tickets to attend Somme centenary commemoration at Thiepval Memorial next year

Monday, 28th September 2015—The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD, has encouraged interested Irish people to apply for tickets to attend the centenary commemoration of the Battle of the Somme, being held in Thiepval in France on 1st July next year. Free tickets for the event are being made available online from today through an online ballot system with 500 tickets allocated to residents of Ireland.

The Thiepval commemoration is being organised by the British and French Governments in partnership with the Commonwealth War Graves Commissions and Royal British Legion. The online ticket ballot is being co-ordinated by the UK Department for Culture, Media and Sport, on behalf of the UK Government.

Speaking today, Minister Humphreys said:

“While much of the focus in Ireland next year will be on commemorating the 1916 Rising, there will also be considerable interest in the centenary of the Battle of the Somme, which claimed thousands of Irish lives.

“Through the Decade of Centenaries, there has been increased awareness around the level of Irish involvement, and indeed the level of Irish casualties, in World War 1. The centenary of the outbreak of the war, which was marked last year, helped shine a light on the Irish experience of the war and was for many, a period of discovery of their own families’ involvement during this period.

“The Irish Government has been working with the British and French Governments on this important commemoration and I welcome the opportunity for Irish residents to apply for tickets through the online ballot system. I know that many Irish families will want to participate in this significant memorial event and to remember their relatives who lost their lives in the terrible battle.

“Preparations are also being advanced by the Irish Government to appropriately mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme in Ireland next year.”

ENDS

Note to Editors:

The Thiepval commemoration, which will be organised by the British and French Governments in partnership with the Commonwealth War Graves Commissions and Royal British Legion, will be held at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Thiepval Memorial in Northern France on July 1st 2016.

Due to the expected high public demand and the limited capacity at the site at Thiepval, the event will be accessible by ticket only. Up to 8000 tickets, which will be free of charge, will be distributed in pairs by way of a ballot to successful applicants. Disabled seating will be available.

The ballot is being co-ordinated by the UK Department for Culture, Media and Sport, on behalf of the UK Government. Entrants, who are residents of the United Kingdom or Ireland, will be able to enter online through the dedicated Somme 2016 Ballot website – www.somme2016.org.

500 tickets are being specifically allocated to residents of Ireland.

The closing date for entry into the ballot will be 18th November 2015.

Queries can be directed to commemorations@ahg.gov.ie

 

Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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