COUNCILLOR Jim Long has won praise from the Royal British Legion after he became the first mayor to attend Limerick’s Remembrance Day commemorations for almost 10 years.
Mayor Long joined fellow city councillors, Cathaoirleach Mary Harty, former Defence Minister Willie O’Dea, and Minister of State Jan O’Sullivan at the war memorial in Pery Square.
They were joined by former soldiers, and relatives of those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the two world wars.
A two-minute silence was observed at 11am, to mark the occasion when the guns fell silent at the close of World War One.
In communication with Mayor Long, Major Brian Duffy, secretary of the Limerick British Legion, said they were “delighted and complimented” by his presence at the ceremony.
“As I said then, you are the first mayor in some years to attend in person at the Royal British Legion Remembrance ceremony and your being there and laying a wreath on behalf of the citizens of Limerick marks a renewed association with this event at the highest civic level.
“This is a marvellous boost to those of us who work throughout the year to promote Remembrance of our Irish Fallen and care for the living. Thank you for your worshipful presence.”
Major Duffy also praised the mayor for wearing the Rembrance poppy.
“It meant much to me and others there and elswhere,” he pointed out.
In response, Mayor Long said he felt it must be “heart-warming” for the relatives of befallen war heroes that the turnout was so great.
“When I laid a wreath to commemorate the event, I clearly laid it at the cross erected to honour the fallen Irish and Limerick people in World Wars One and Two. I would never hesitate to commemorate or honour my own, or play a part in memory of our befallen heroes. I took it as a great honour, and it was a wonderful event. It must be heart-warming for the relatives and off spring of these fallen soldiers that we can turn out in such numbers and give them full civic honours,” he said.
Also attending the commemoration were Northampton Borough Council chief David Kennedy, and his wife Sarah. They were joined by approximately 50 Northampton Saints fans, who were at Thomond Park the previous night.