In Paris in 1928, Marshal Foch wrote:-
"The heroic dead of Ireland have every right
to the homage of the living; for they proved in some
of the heaviest fighting of the World War that the
unconquerable spirit of the Irish race ... the spirit
that has placed them among the world's greatest
soldiers ... still lives, and is stronger than it ever
"I had occasion to put to the test the valour
of the Irishmen serving in France, and whether they
were Irishmen from the North or South, or from one
party or another, they did not fail me.
"Some of the hardest fighting in those
terrible days that followed the last offensive of the
Germans fell to the Irishmen, and some of their
special regiments had to endure ordeals that might
justly have taxed to breaking point the capacity of
the finest troops in the world.
"Never once did the Irish fail me in those
terrible days. On the Somme, in 1916, I saw the
heroism of the North and South, and arrived on the
Scene shortly after the death of that very gallant
Irish gentleman, Major William Redmond. I saw Irishmen
of the North and South forget their age-long
differences and fight side by side, giving their lives
freely for the common cause.
"In war there are times when the necessity for
yielding up one's life in the most urgent duty of the
moment, and there were many such moments in our long
drawn out struggle. Those Irish heroes gave their
lives freely, and, in honouring them on Sunday, I hope
we shall not allow our grief to let us forget our
pride in the glorious heroism of those men.
"They have left to those who came after a
glorious heritage and an inspiration to duty that will
live long after their names are forgotten."