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First World War (Commemorations)

Volume 584: debated on Wednesday 16 July 2014

9. What role her Department is taking in commemorations to mark the centenary of the first world war. (904833)

The Northern Ireland Office is committed to assisting in the delivery of the Government’s programme for the first world war centenary. I pay tribute to the right hon. Member for Lagan Valley (Mr Donaldson) for his work on the Prime Minister’s advisory group. The Department is also co-ordinating closely with the Irish Government on the centenary and the wider decade of commemorations in the island of Ireland.

Earby town council in my constituency has given the freedom of the town to all world war veterans. Will the Minister join me in welcoming the initiative, and will he encourage local councils across Northern Ireland to consider doing the same?

I very much welcome the move of my hon. Friend’s local authority in that respect. It is absolutely right. There is great potential over this centenary period for local authorities to mark appropriately the contribution made by local people. That goes for Northern Ireland as it does for the rest of the country.