Donegal Deputy Dinny McGinley today became the first Minister to fornally represent the Irish Government at the Battle of the Somme commemorative ceremony in France.
Today is the 95th anniversary of the First World War battle which began on July 1, 1916.
In the first two days of the ill-planned offensive, over 2,000 Irish soldiers were killed.
Representatives from Ireland, Britain, Canada and France attended today's events in France.
Minister Dinny McGinley, who laid a wreath on behalf of the Irish, said it was a moving moment: