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Minister Flanagan attends National Holocaust Memorial Commemoration

Commemorations, Human rights, Ireland, Minister Charles Flanagan, Press Releases, Europe, 2016

 

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan TD, will today (Sunday) attend the National Holocaust Memorial Day commemoration at the Mansion House. The annual commemoration takes place on the Sunday nearest to 27 January, the date of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, and honours the memory of those who perished in the Holocaust. Minister Flanagan will join the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD, and participants from Ireland and overseas at the commemoration.

Speaking before the ceremony Minister Flanagan said:

“I am deeply honoured to have been invited to participate in this important commemorative event. The National Holocaust Memorial Commemoration provides a valuable opportunity for us to remember the lives of the over eleven million men, women and children who suffered in the most harrowing way imaginable during a time which is in living memory for some. Indeed, in 2015, sixty years after the liberation of the Concentration Camp, I attended the commemoration ceremony at Auschwitz-Birkenau and met some of the survivors who poignantly recounted firsthand the unimaginable suffering they endured.

“The victims of the Holocaust, including some six million Jews and some five million people from varied backgrounds, were targeted and murdered because of their nationality, ethnic origin, disability, sexual orientation, political affiliation or religious beliefs. This most extreme manifestation of intolerance and hatred of difference must never be forgotten. It must, indeed, be in our minds, when confronting intolerance, persecution and hatred in the world of today.”

During the ceremony Minister Flanagan will give a reading drawn from the Declaration of the Stockholm International Forum on the Holocaust. The Declaration is the founding document of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance which Ireland joined in 2011. Members of the Alliance are committed to promoting Holocaust education, remembrance and research.

Underlining his commitment to addressing intolerance, the Minister added:

“In remembering the victims of the Holocaust I take the opportunity to reaffirm my strong commitment, and that of the Government, to combatting intolerance. As a signatory to the Stockholm Declaration, the Irish Government has made a commitment to ‘remember the victims who perished, respect the survivors still with us, and reaffirm humanity’s common aspiration for mutual understanding and justice.”


ENDS
Press Office
24 January 2016