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Posted 10 March 2009

Special accolade for Remembering the War Dead

UCD historian, Fergus D'Arcy has been presented with a special award by the judging panel of the Ewart-Biggs Memorial Award for his book ‘Remembering the War Dead’. The special accolade was given in response to the book’s ‘powerful and judicious’ exploration of how the Irish State and people have remembered their war dead.

The 2009 Ewart-Biggs Memorial Award went to novelist, David Park for his book ‘The Truth Commissioner.’ The award recognises works that promote peace and reconciliation in Ireland.

The judges included: Baroness O’Neill (President of the British Royal Academy); Senator Maurice Hayes; Mr Tom Pakenham; Professor Paul Arthur, University of Ulster; Ms Catherine Freeman, ex-BBC and documentary filom-maker; and the panel chair was Professor Roy Foster, Oxford University.

Founded in 1977, the award is given to the work that best promotes the organisation’s goal of promoting reconciliation and a greater understanding between the people of Britain and Ireland. The prize is given in memory of Christopher Ewart-Biggs, the British ambassador to Ireland who was murdered by the IRA in Dublin in 1976.

Former winners include Brian Friel, Brian Keenan and Sebastian Barry, whose novel The Secret Scripture was on this year’s shortlist.


Remembering the War Dead

From the 1920s, the Office of Public Works has been responsible for the graves of those who died in the two World Wars and are buried and commemorated in the Republic of Ireland. There are at least 3,100 such war graves in the Republic of Ireland and some 2,600 in Northern Ireland.

The history of the 3,000 plus war dead buried in the Republic of Ireland, how they came to be there, and how the Irish Government came to be responsible for the graves is outlined in Remembering the War Dead by Fergus D'Arcy, former Dean of Arts at University College Dublin, published by the Office of Public Works.

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Special accolade for Remembering the War Dead
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