Ireland’s PM Enda Kenny expressed his sympathy to the Armenian people on the centenary of massacres which resulted in the deaths of up to 1.5 million of its people between 1915 and 1922, The Irish Times reports.
During the mourning events in Yerevan Ireland was represented by John Biggar.
Kenny responded to the letter of Paul Manook, an Armenian by descent, who serves at the Armenian church in Ireland. Manook lost his grandfather during the tragedy.
Manook invited Kenny to the community’s remembrance service on Sunday in Taney Parish Church, Dundrum.
The PM said he was unable to attend but expressed his condolences to Manook with regard to the “terrible suffering and loss which Armenians endured a century ago”.
“Here in Ireland, of course, we know well how difficult it can be to come to terms with the past through a process of reconciliation. It is fitting that the Armenian community in Ireland will mark these events with a service of commemoration,” Kenny said.
In his turn, Manook said he was impressed with the PM’s letter which was “very sensitive and understanding”, but he called on the Irish Government to recognize the Armenian massacres as a genocide.
“I just hope Ireland will help us in this area. It is not just forgive and forget. It needs to be dealt with. Perhaps Ireland can use its diplomatic channels to influence the US, UK as well as Turkey,” Manook said.
The word ‘genocide’ wasn’t used in Ireland’s MFA statement, issued several days ago. Instead, it only mentioned the "enormous suffering of the Armenian people during that period."