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Forgotten 12,000 of Ireland's War dead.

MORE than 10,000 previously unknown Irish people died serving with allied forces during World War One, it has emerged.

Former Fine Gael TD Paddy Harte, who has been pressing to gain full recognition for the Irish dead in the 'Great War' from north and south of the border, said new research is showing just how many have been forgotten.

He is also the driving force for the plan to have a "honour book" compiled for each of the 32 counties that will be available in public libraries.

Eventually he hopes all the names can be brought together on a wall of honour around the Irish memorial tower and peace park in Belgium - similar to the Vietnam wall war memorial in Washington.

"Ireland's original memorial war record was drawn up in eight volumes in 1923," he told us.

"Then it appeared that 38,000 Irish died out of as many as 300,000 who volunteered.

"But the research being undertaken for the books of honour indicates as many as 50,000 didn't come home.

"There would also have been between 80,000 and 90,000 who came back either horribly injured or mentally deranged."

Research in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa is revealing thousands of Irish people who died with their forces.

Many of the Irish soldiers in the British army had moved to England, Scotland or Wales. They joined local regiments and gave their new addresses.

"As a result of the detailed search all over the country I am getting reports back from counties like Mayo, Limerick, Leitrim, Kerry, Waterford and Tipperary of discovering massive numbers of extra people who died.

"They would have been forgotten about if it hadn't been for searches.

"It is a tremendous undertaking that is all being done on a voluntary basis. I suppose it would have been an impossible task to document them all at the time."

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IRISH TOWER: Memorial
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Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Nov 11, 2001
Words:323
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