President and Taoiseach attend first State ceremonial event to mark 2016 commemorations
THE President, Michael D Higgins and the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD have led the first State ceremonial event to mark the beginning of the centenary year.
The 2016 commemorations began with a flag-raising ceremony at Dublin Castle.
Cor na nOg performed Danny Boy, followed by an opening prayer.
The President inspected a military Guard of Honour and the names of all 78 on the 1916 roll of honour were read aloud, followed by a minute's silence.
Then the flag of the Citizen Army, - which flew from the Imperial Hotel during Easter Week 1916 and the flag of the IRB and the tricolour - which were flown from the GPO, were raised before the National Anthem was played.
Amid teaming rain, around 250 members of the public turned out to observe, along with 1916 relatives, politicians and ambassadors.
Amongst those present were EU commissioner Phil Hogan and Sinn Fein President Martin Mc Guinness and Tanaiste Joan Burton - who looked none the worse for her ducking in the floods in Kilkenny yesterday.
Later this evening, the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD, will host a special Peace Proms concert in the Convention Centre, featuring over 500 young performers from across the island of Ireland.
Throughout 2016, more than 40 State ceremonial events will be held as part of the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme, as well a growing list of more than 4,000 events nationwide, including 2,000 community-led initiatives and over 1,000 international events.