As the world marks 100 years since the end of World War I, Ireland is examining the role it played in the Great War and commemorates the signing of the armistice that drew a close to "the war to end all wars".

The war began in 1914 but many young men enlisted believing they would be home by Christmas, ultimately the conflict raged for four years with fighting ending with the Armistice being signed on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918.

Morning Ireland

In 1988, RTÉ's Morning Ireland Series Editor Shane McElhatton sought out surviving Irish veterans from the war and recorded their stories.

A century on from the end of the war, Donal Byrne reports for Morning Ireland on the letters, poems and reflections of those who fought in the war.


In the first of a series of special television reports, Donal Byrne went to the Belgian town of Ypres in which thousands of Irish men fought and died.

In the second report of his series, Donal Byrne looked at how the commemoration of Armistice Day has changed.

Continuing his series, Donal Byrne recounts the story of a Kilkenny woman who lost four of her five sons in the war.

In the final part of his series, Donal Byrne has been re-discovering some powerful Irish voices from the Great War.

Bryan Dobson and the Nationwide team visited The Somme, the scene of one of the bloodiest battles of the war, to find out why, and how, so many men died there.

Nationwide journeyed to Belgium where they met the Irish man charged with caring for the graves of thousands killed in WWI.

More stories from The Front as Nationwide continues its journey through Belgium.

Read more Armistice stories
From RTÉ Archives:
Ireland and the Great War
WWI Aftermath

"You were there and the rats were there. If you had some food the only safe place for it was in your stomach."

A six-metre high sculpture of a World War One soldier went on display in Dublin's St Stephen's Green for the month of November to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the ending of the war.

An art installation at St Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin features 36,000 leaf-shaped messages hung from the ceiling, remembering the 36,000 Irish men and women who died in World War One.


Many of those who fought and died in the war came from the Gaeltacht. RTÉ Nuacht reports on those who served in the Connaught Rangers.