Sinn Fein mayor to attend Derry’s Battle of Messines commemoration

Derry City and Strabane District Council Mayor Elisha McCallion. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 01.04.15
Derry City and Strabane District Council Mayor Elisha McCallion. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 01.04.15

The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council (DCSDC), Sinn Fein Councillor, Elisha McCallion will participate in a historic event at the Cenotaph in Derry on Sunday organised by the International School for Peace Studies to commemorate the 98th anniversary of the Battle of Messines.

The Battle of Messines which took place between June 4 to 7, 1917 was an offensive conducted by the British Second Army, under the command of General Sir Herbert Plumer, on the Western Front near the village of Messines in Belgian West Flanders during the First World War.

Speaking to the ‘Journal’, Colr. McCallion, said the reason she was taking part in Sunday’s ceremony was because she wants to live up to her promise of representing everyone within the DCSDC area.

“On the night of my installation as Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, I pledged that I would represent all the citizens of the district to the best of my ability regardless of political opinion or religious persuasion,” said Colr. McCallion.

“When I received the invitation from the International School for Peace Studies and after careful consideration I decided that this is an event that commemorates an aspect of our shared history in an inclusive and sensitive manner.

“Thousands of young men from across this island from both the Nationalist and Unionist traditions, fought and died together at Messines and battlefields elsewhere in Europe.”

Colr. McCallion praised the International School for Peace Studies for the way in which they have organised the vent and said she hoped that her participation would contribute to the ongoing process of peace building in the North.

“I believe that the way in which the International School for Peace Stpuludies has organised this commemoration of the Battle of Messines has contributed positively to our understanding of a shared history which for too long has been a source of division.

“I will therefore, in the spirit of peace, reconciliation and inclusivity be accepting the invitation from the International School for Peace Studies to attend the 98th Anniversary Commemoration of the Battle of Messines at the Cenotaph in Derry on June 7.

“I hope that my participation will act as a catalyst to build the peace and reconciliation process necessary to provide a better future for all of our children.”

I hope that my participation will act as a catalyst to build the peace and reconciliation process necessary to provide a better future for all of our children

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council - Councillor Elisha McCallion