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Friday, 27 April, 2001, 12:01 GMT 13:01 UK
Irish government recognises Fusiliers
Taoiseach Bertie Ahern
Taoiseach Bertie Ahern acknowledges Irish Fusiliers
The Irish Government has officially acknowledged for the first time the role of Irish soldiers who fought in the First World War.

The Taoiseach Bertie Ahern said his government would secure the Dublin Fusiliers' place in history.

There are no surviving members of the Fusiliers still living but a large number of relatives attended the ceremony in Dublin.

He was speaking at a special reception in honour of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association on Thursday night.

Irish Fusiliers
Ireland recongises WW1 soldiers

Mr Ahern said that the time had come for state recognition for all Irish soldiers who had fought in the First World War.

He said: "it is probably strange that we had to get to a new millennium before the Irish government could acknowledge the role that all of these people played," he said.

"And also to recognise what the Royal Dublin Fusiliers had been involved in down through the years.

"But with these changing times, I think the circumstances have allowed things to move on and evolve."

The soldiers recognised fought in the battles of Gallipoli and Flanders during World War I.

Author Sam McAughtry said that the state recognition was welcome.

"There was a time here for many years that the Dublin Fusiliers and no other warrior in the First World War was really recognised.

"This is a state recognition."

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