Monday 24 July 2017

101 years on: President lays a wreath to mark Easter Rising

16/04/2017
Proclamation reader Captain Michael Barry from DFHQ during a 1916 commemoration ceremony at the GPO on O' Connell Street, Dublin.
Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
16/04/2017 Proclamation reader Captain Michael Barry from DFHQ during a 1916 commemoration ceremony at the GPO on O' Connell Street, Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

David Young, Press Association

THE PRESIDENT has laid a wreath at the focal point of the Easter Rising as the nation marked the 101st anniversary of the rebellion.

Michael D Higgins was joined by Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the event outside the General Post Office on O'Connell Street, the landmark building that served as the headquarters of the 1916 rebels.

Members of the Irish Defence Forces personnel took part in the state ceremony.

The event began with the lowering of the Irish tricolour. A prayer was read and a piper played a lament before the Proclamation of Independence was read by a Defence Forces officer.

On Easter Monday 1916, rebel leader Patrick Pearse stood outside the GPO and read out the proclamation to herald the start of the insurrection against British rule.

After Mr Higgins laid the laurel wreath, a minute's silence was held and the Last Post played. The official ceremony concluded with the raising of the tricolour, the playing of the Irish national anthem - Amhran na bhFiann - and a fly-past by four planes from the Irish Air Corps.

16/04/2017
President of Ireland Michael D Higgins during a 1916 commemoration ceremony at the GPO on O' Connell Street, Dublin.
Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
16/04/2017 President of Ireland Michael D Higgins during a 1916 commemoration ceremony at the GPO on O' Connell Street, Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
16/04/2017 The Air Corp fly past the Spire during a 1916 commemoration ceremony at the GPO on O' Connell Street, Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

The event was lower key than last year, when hundreds of thousands of people lined the streets of the Irish capital for a huge military parade to mark the 100th anniversary.

The Easter Rising was a military failure for the revolutionaries, who included poets, journalists and teachers, but it sparked a chain of events that ultimately led to the partition of Ireland and the creation of an independent Republic as well as Northern Ireland.

Earlier on Sunday, Heritage minister Heather Humphreys and deputy UK ambassador to Ireland Neil Holland attended a series of commemorative events in Glasnevin cemetery in Dublin.

The programme included the raising of the tricolour over the monument to celebrated poet Dora Sigerson and the laying of wreaths at the graves of Edward Hollywood, the man who delivered the first tricolour flag to Ireland from France, and Peadar Kearney, the composer of Amhran na bhFiann.

16/04/2017
President of Ireland Michael D Higgins inspects the Tri Service Guard of Honour during a 1916 commemoration ceremony at the GPO on O' Connell Street, Dublin.
Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
16/04/2017 President of Ireland Michael D Higgins inspects the Tri Service Guard of Honour during a 1916 commemoration ceremony at the GPO on O' Connell Street, Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

Minister Humphreys said: "These moments of commemoration provide us with an opportunity to recognise the legacy of those who went before us and their enduring influence on the Ireland of today."

The great grandson of Peader Kearney, Dualta O' Broin, sang the anthem at the event.

John Green, chairman of Glasnevin Trust, said: "In remembering Dora Sigerson, Edward Hollywood and Peadar Kearney each Easter Sunday morning we hope to encourage today's generations to explore the complex and intricate period in our history a century ago."

A granite memorial incorporating the names of all those who died in the Rising, including rebellion leaders and British soldiers, was unveiled in Glasnevin as part of the centenary commemorations last year.

Almost 500 people were killed in the uprising, the majority of them - 268 - were civilians caught up in the violence. A total of 119 British soldiers died.

More to follow

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