1916 commemorations do not belong to any party - Humphreys
The commemoration of the 1916 Rising belongs to the State, not one party, according to Arts Minister Heather Humphreys.
"I want these to be inclusive and respectful. It is only through engagement and hearing the stories that we will understand better," she said.
"A lot of us know a little but not a lot. It will give us chance to sit down and hear the impact it had on lives and families."
She also spoke of the importance of people in Northern Ireland being involved.
A debate was hosted by Irish Independent editor Fionnán Sheahan on the importance of commemorating the Rising.
Mr Sheahan said the debate provided a flavour of the content readers can expect in the paper over the coming months in relation to the 1916 centenary.
Fianna Fáil spokesman on Agriculture Éamon Ó Cuív said that the Rising was still relevant in today's Ireland. He said: "I'd like people to understand and study the aspirations of 1916. They talk about equal opportunities, something we are still talking about today."
Other speakers included UCD historian Conor Mulvagh and former Irish ambassador to Saudi Arabia Niall Holohan.
Alan Keating also gave a re-enactment of the oration by Pádraig Pearse at the funeral of Fenian leader O'Donovan Rossa.