President McAleese to inaugurate Messines Peace Tower
President Mary McAleese will inaugurate the Peace Tower at the Peace Park in Mesen (Messines) in Belgium on 11 November, 1998 in the presence of King Albert II and Queen Paola and Queen Elizabeth II.
The Peace Tower is dedicated to the memory of those from the island of Ireland who fought and died in the First World War. It is erected at the site of the Messines Ridge Battlefield, the only location in that conflict where the 36th Ulster Division and the 16th Irish Division fought side by side. The Memorial not only recalls the sacrifices of those from the island of Ireland from all political and religious traditions who fought and died in the war but it also serves as a powerful symbol of reconciliation in the present day.
The initiative for this project, as well as the work involved in its implementation, have come from "A Journey of Reconciliation Trust" with the support of the Mayor and Town of Mesen. "A Journey of Reconciliation Trust" is a broadly-based organisation in Ireland which, under the leadership of Mr. Paddy Harte and Mr. Glen Barr, aims to bring together people of diverse political and religious beliefs. The Trust comprises representatives of the main churches in Ireland as well as political and professional representatives and community leaders from both parts of Ireland.
The construction of the Peace Tower was made possible by funding from the Irish and British Governments as well as by sponsorship from the private sector.Top