State of city Cenotaph ‘a disgrace’

The War Memorial in the Diamond, Derry. DERR3715GS099
The War Memorial in the Diamond, Derry. DERR3715GS099

Derry & Strabane DUP Councillor Graham Warke has warned that the War Memorial is in a disgraceful state and needs to be urgently refurbished.

Colr. Warke was speaking at the December meeting of Derry City & Strabane District Council at the Guildhall last Thursday.

A revamp of the monument should now be taken forward as an urgent priority he said.

Colr. Warke said that this was particularly important as the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme was fast approaching, when almost one million men were killed and wounded.

“I am putting it to the council to push this forward,” he said.

Colr. Warke also said he has been in touch with the Commonwealth Commission and the War Memorials Trust and said that they were willing to stomp up 75% of the money needed for the refurbishment.

Mayor of Derry & Strabane Elisha McCallion said the matter needed to be discussed through either the Council’s centenary group or its Capital Development Group, and a report is expected to be brought before both groups in due course.

UUP Councillor Derek Hussey stressed that the council had a certain amount of responsibility in relation to this.

A total of 756 names of soldiers, both Nationalists and Unionists, have been inscribed on the plinths at the Diamond War Memorial in the city centre.

Research over recent years has uncovered a further 400 more names of people who fell in the war as detailed in ‘The Diamond War Memorial Commemorative Diary (2008)’.