TUV leader Jim Allister has written to Michael Day, the Chief Executive of Historic Royal Palaces and the Secretary of State, calling for ‘Poppies at the Tower’ display to visit Northern Ireland.
Commenting Jim Allister said:
“The poppies at the Tower of London was a display which captured the mood of the nation and was a very fitting and poignant tribute to those who died in the cause of freedom.
“Whilst the idea for the event originated with the centenary of the outbreak of World War One many who lost loved ones in subsequent conflicts have also felt that the art installation was a tribute to their suffering as well.
“Many people from Northern Ireland travelled to London in order to see the poppies.
“However, many others who would like to have done so were unable to make the trip. I was delighted to learn that two major features of ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’ are set to travel to a number of locations around the UK from 2015 before going on display at the Imperial War Museum London and its counterpart in Manchester.
“It is important that as many people as possible in the UK get the opportunity to view this display and I am particularly keen that people in Northern Ireland do not miss out. Many people from Northern Ireland served with distinction in the First World War and Unionists and Nationalists fought and died together on the battlefields of France. Indeed the forces raised during the Home Rule Crisis – the Unionist UVF and Nationalist IVF – both formed divisions of the British Army (the 36th Ulster Division and the 16th Irish Division) while many more served in other regiments.
“Accordingly, I have today written to Michael Day, the Chief Executive of Historic Royal Palaces, asking what plans currently exist to include Northern Ireland in this tour.
“As Hillsborough Castle is part of the Historic Royal Palaces group it could be a possible location for the display.”