Saturday 19 October 2019

Commemorations and celebrations being held around the country around the country

At the Dublin commemoration, President Michael D Higgins will lay a wreath on behalf of the people of Ireland Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin
At the Dublin commemoration, President Michael D Higgins will lay a wreath on behalf of the people of Ireland Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

Rachel Lavin

Military marches, historically themed displays and patriotic celebrations of Irish music, theatre and culture are just a few of the highlights as Ireland prepares to commemorate the centenary of the Easter Rising this weekend.

Easter Rising commemoration ceremonies will take place all over the country, marking the locations where rebels rose: from Ashbourne, Athenry, Enniscorthy and Maynooth to the focal point of Dublin City Centre where hundred of thousands are expected to turn out.

The organisers have aimed to mix commemorations of necessary gravitas and solemnity with historically-themed entertainment and celebrations of Irish culture.

The highlight will be the synchronised wreath-layings that are scheduled to take place at several locations connected to the Rising at 1.15pm on Easter Monday - the same time that the first shots of the Rising were fired 100 years ago.

- Wreath-laying ceremony at Glasnevin Cemetery, 9.30am, today, Easter Sunday.

Wreaths will be laid at the Sigerson monument in honour of all of those who served during Easter Week and also at the graves of Edward Hollywood, who wove the first Irish tricolour, and Peadar Kearney, who wrote the lyrics to the Soldier's Song, Amhran na bhFiann.

This event is open to the public, who will be able to follow the proceedings on a large viewing screen in the public area.

- Commemoration ceremony and parade in Dublin City Centre, 10am to 3pm, today.

Led by the Defence Forces in full military display, over 3,500 personnel will march in the Easter Sunday parade from St Stephen's Green to Bolton Street, pausing on O'Connell Street for the State commemoration ceremony where, under the GPO, a Defence Forces officer will read the 1916 Proclamation.

President Michael D Higgins will then lay a wreath on behalf of the people of Ireland, followed by a minute's silence for all those who died.

The national flag will be raised to full mast on top of the GPO and the national anthem will be played. The parade will conclude with an Air Corps flypast (weather permitting) and a 21-gun salute.

- Wreath-laying at six iconic 1916 sites, 1.15pm, tomorrow, Easter Monday.

A wreath will be laid at each of the most iconic Easter Rising sites across Dublin city. These include Dublin Castle, the Four Courts, the Royal College of Surgeons, Moore Street, St James's Hospital, Boland's Mill and Jacobs Factory (now the National Archives) at 1.15pm, the exact time the first shots of the Rising were fired.

- RTE Reflecting the Rising in Dublin City Centre, 11am to 6pm, Easter Monday.

Hosted by RTE, Dublin city centre will embrace the historical theme of 1916 in what is expected to be the biggest open-air history event ever seen.

There will be music and circus performances on the bandstand in St Stephen's Green, featuring the Booka Brass Band, the Dublin Gospel Choir and Dublin Circus Project.

A Ceili Mor will take place all day at Earlsfort Terrace with music from The Dartry Ceili Band and the Brian Boru Ceili Band.

At Merrion Square there will be an exhibition of vintage cars, motorbikes and a steam engine while Smithfield Square will host old-fashioned children's games, storytelling and roving street theatre along with a vintage tram stage and a carousel.

And at the main stage on O'Connell Street, Sharon Shannon, The High Kings and The Celtic Tenors, among others, will perform.

- Abbey Theatre 'Waking the Nation', 2pm-7.30pm, Easter Monday.

The national theatre will mark Easter Monday with a series of plays inspired by the Rising.

At 2pm Me, Mollser by Ali White, a retelling of Sean O'Casey's The Plough and The Stars through the eyes of its youngest character, will be performed.

Nell Regan will talk about her book about the actor and activist of the Rising, Helena Molony: A Radical Life, at 3pm and at 4pm the children's play An Filleadh, which explores the fate of a family caught up in the history of the pre-Rising period, will be performed.

All three plays will be free but ticketed.

The final play of the day, Sean O'Casey's The Plough and the Stars, directed by Sean Holmes, will take place at 7.30pm, with tickets from €13 to €45.

- Imagining Home at the National Concert Hall, 8pm, Easter Monday.

The first in a series of seven concerts inspired by the 1916 Rising and Ireland's cultural journey since, 'America' celebrates the musical relationship between Ireland and the US and features Irish and American musicians including Rosanne Cash, Paul Brady, Maura O'Connell and Andy Irvine. Tickets are priced between €22.50 and €39.50.

- Cork City commemoration and wreath-laying, 11.45am, Easter Monday.

The event on the Grand Parade commences at 11.45am and will feature live music with performances by the Defence Forces Band, Peadar O Riada, Cor Chuil Aodha and Eimear Coughlan on harp, speeches by the Lord Mayor of Cork City and the Mayor of County Cork, a reading of the Proclamation, a wreath-laying ceremony, a minute of silence and the raising of the National flag as well as an Air Corps flypast (weather permitting). Irish musicians will then take to the stage to showcase some of the best of Irish music.

- Galway commemoration and wreath-laying, 11.20am, Easter Monday.

Galway's formal State ceremony will take place in Athenry Community Park and will include a presentation and celebration of cultural traditions of music, song, dance and poetry followed by a parade of representatives from each of the county's GAA clubs from Kenny Park to the Arch.

The event will culminate in the synchronised national wreath-laying at 1.15pm, followed by a rendition of the national anthem, a raising of the national flag and (weather permitting) an Air Corps flypast.

This will be followed by the official opening of a 1916 Commemorative Garden, a series of lectures, exhibitions and musical performances.

- Re-enactment of the Battle of Ashbourne and wreath-laying in Co Meath, 10.45am, Easter Monday.

A re-enactment of the Battle of Ashbourne will commence at 10.45am followed by a ceremonial event commencing at 12.15pm to commemorate the battle's centenary. Two wreaths, presented by the Defence Forces, will be laid at the Monument at Rath Cross at 1.15pm (these events are ticketed) followed by the unveiling of a memorial plaque.

- Maynooth, Co Kildare ceremonies, Easter Monday from 11.50am.

At 11.50am, a parade starts at St Patrick's College gates with a wreath-laying ceremony in the town square followed by a reading of the Proclamation in honour of the 'Maynooth 15' - the 15 men who marched into Dublin where they fought in the rebellion.

- Enniscorthy, Wexford, parade and wreath-laying, 11.30am, Easter Monday.

There will be a parade from St Aidan's Cathedral to the Seamus Rafter statue, Abbey Square, pausing at The Athenaeum for a raising of the Enniscorthy 1916 Battalion Flag followed by a minute's silence, a wreath-laying at 1.15pm and the playing of the national anthem with an Air Corps flypast (weather permitting).

It will be followed by a performance of songs specially commissioned by Wexford County Council for 2016, a reading of a commissioned poem and a battle re-enactment.

- Commemoration ceremony for the Irish Citizen Army and James Connolly, Tuesday, 10am to 1pm, Liberty Hall, Dublin.

A formal State ceremony, attended by President Michael D Higgins, will take place to commemorate the role of the Irish Citizen Army and James Connolly in the events of Easter 1916 with a wreath-laying at the statue of James Connolly in Liberty Hall and the unveiling of a plaque dedicated to the members of the ICA who died during the Rising.

This will be followed by a re-enactment of the raising of the flag of the Irish Republic and readings, music and poetry in the auditorium.

There will be public standing areas with large screens for viewing the ceremony on the grounds of the Custom House and in other public areas.

Sunday Independent

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