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Exhibition to remember sacrifices of WWI dead

A cigarette case that stopped a bullet and saved the life of a Dublin soldier was among items in a World War One exhibition that opened yesterday.

It was opened by Arts Minister Heather Humphreys at Glasnevin Cemetery Museum in Dublin following an Armistice Day commemoration for the war dead.

The cigarette case was being carried in the breast pocket of stretcher-bearer William Gibson in no-man's-land in France in 1916 when the German bullet was deflected away from his heart.

Conor Dodd, who assembled the collection of items loaned by Irish relatives of soldiers, said Mr Gibson's granddaughter loaned the lucky cigarette case to the exhibition, which will run until the end of June.

Ms Humphreys welcomed distinguished visitors from all parts of Ireland and diplomats from Britain, the US, Germany, Austria, Australia, New Zealand, France and Italy.

An Irish Defence Forces colour party and piper were present at the wreath-laying ceremony at the Cross of Sacrifice in the cemetery.

The minister said: "It is difficult to comprehend the enormity of the human suffering endured by the thousands of young Irishmen who fought and died in the trenches during World War One."

Glasnevin Trust chairman John Green said: "Events such as t his play a significant part in helping to reconcile the social wounds that emerged almost a century ago."