Irish solicitor Sabina Purcell has received an MBE, as an Irish citizen, for her work in the area of British-Irish relations. She said she was “delighted and honoured” to receive the unexpected award.
Ms Purcell works as principal solicitor in the commercial and constitutional section of the Chief State Solicitors Office.
She became very involved in commemorations of the Great War, and in bringing the Haunting Soldier memorial to St Stephen’s Green in Dublin in November 2018, to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War.
She set up the www.worldwar1veterans.com commemoration website as a voluntary project in 2011, listing the names of Irish people who had served in the war.
The site now has almost 40,000 names listed.
Sabina Purcell was nominated for an MBE in December 2020, but only recently received formal approval.
The investiture, by the British Ambassador in Dublin, will take place when virus restrictions are lifted.
The Haunting Solider was created from scrap metal, and the six-metre installation depicts a weary and haunted-looking first World War soldier with a pack, leaning on his rifle.
Thousands of visitors came to see it in St Stephen’s Green during commemorations for the centenary of the armistice in November 2018.
Purcell brought it to Dublin with the support of the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, and the OPW.
Nolan Transport brought the sculpture to and from England, while Sisk and AIG gave the installation financial backing.