Everyone who died in World War One will be remembered at a memorial Mass planned for St Brigid’s Church in Clara this Sunday.
The 2pm Mass has been organised by local man Raphael Fallon, whose maternal grandfather fought in the war, while the Mass will be celebrated by his brother, Fr Vincent Fallon.
All denominations are welcome at the event, while there will also be representation from the Irish United Nations Veterans Association, the Connaught Rangers Association, the Organisation of National Ex-Servicemen and Women and the Irish Defence Forces.
“This isn’t a Mass of triumphalism or victory,” Raphael explained. “It’s a Mass of remembrance for soldiers of all sides, where we can remember them and say a few prayers.”
Raphael has a strong interest in the history of World War One, rooted in the fact that his maternal grandfather - Private John Rochford - fought in it in France as a member of the Connaught Rangers Regiment and was twice awarded a distinguished conduct medal - the second highest military decoration for valour, after the Victoria Cross.
Private Rochford survived the war, later fought in India and lived out his life in Clara, and Raphael said it’s important to remember the approximate 200,000 Irishmen who fought and the 50,000 who died fighting.
The Mass will take place at 2pm on Sunday, July 20, in St Brigid’s Church in Clara. All are welcome.