Tricolour and Union Flag flown together in remembrance

The Tricolour and the Union Flag were flown side-by-side at Derry's Cenotaph at the weekend to remember Ireland's war dead.

Around 40 people from across the religious divide stood side-by-side on Sunday morning in the Diamond to remember those who perished in WW1 at the Battle of Messines in Belgium.

The event is organised by Glen Barr's Ebrington-based International School for Peace Studies who highlight the sacrifice of the unionist 36th Ulster Division and the nationalist 16th Irish Division made when they first served beside each other at the Battle of Messines in 1917.

Mr. Barr said the remembrance event, which has been running for three years, was growing in popularity every year.

"The purists will criticise and say there was no such thing as the Tricolour when the First World War was fought. However, the Tricolour is flown out of respect for the nationalists who died.

"We flew the flags for all the countries who fought and this year we also flew the German flag. We are very happy with it; it's getting bigger every year."

Jimbo Crossan, of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, who attended the weekend's memorial event, said it was important for people to know that nationalists too died in the Battle of Messines.

"Three years ago the International School for Peace Studies decided to organise an event that was open for all. Some people felt uncomfortable going to the annual commemoration on November 11. They feel more comfortable going to this one.

"It is important to remember that there were a lot of Derry people in the trenches as well.

"Glen Barr's International School for Peace Studies takes several cross-community groups a year to its 128-bed peace village in Messines."