Pause for a moment in silence at mid day today on Workers Memorial Day

28 Apr 2021



Workers are being urged by Congress to pause for a moment at mid-day today April 28thto remember those killed or injured or made ill in the workplace. There will be an online ceremony at the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin, streamed via the Congress website ( at noon.

A memorial wreath will be laid by Minister Damien English, and the ceremony will include a poem about loss recited by frontline healthcare workers Jacinta Shields and Martin Doyle.

In a message to mark International Workers’ Memorial Day, Dr.Mike Ryan of the World Health Organisation praised the courageous battle being fought by health care workers across the globe and those who have sacrificed their lives. Dr Ryan thanked them for “their selfless and tireless contributions and for providing critical, professional and emotional support for families and hope for communities”. Commenting on the imminent return to the workplace of more people, he said “we must caution against rushing into the transition with any false sense of security due to increased vaccines.”

The theme for the day chosen by European Trade Union Congress and adopted by ICTU is Workplace Health and Safety- It's Your Right'.

Congress General Secretary Patricia King said “Workers’ Memorial Day represents an opportunity to remember those we have lost, and those who continue to work to make us all safer”. Official figures show that 53 people died in workplace-related accidents last year,  the highest number in many years, and this does not include 15 healthcare workers who have died since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic and many tens of thousands of workers in all sectors have contracted the disease.

Speaking after the wreath laying ceremony Damien English TD Minister for Business, Employment and Retail said many workers have provided a service to the State during the Covid-19 pandemic, often at great personal risk to themselves. It was a time to remember those who have lost their lives and also those who were injured or suffered illness, he said.

The online event will include a pause for reflection, with all workplaces being encouraged to hold a minute's silence. A poem about loss will be recited by frontline healthcare workers and there will be a message from Dr.Mike Ryan of the WHO.