President Michael D. Higgins laid a wreath at the GPO, Dublin (Photo courtesy of MerrionStreet - Irish Government News Service)

Easter ceremonies in Ireland remember 1916 uprising against British rule

Posted on on 27 March 2016
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Big crowds lined the streets of Dublin on Easter Sunday (March 27th 2016) for commemorations marking the centenary of the Easter Rising against British rule during the First World War.

The focus for Ireland's principal state ceremony was the General Post Office in O'Connell Street, used as the rebel headquarters a century ago.

President Michael D.Higgins laid a wreath after a reading of the 1916 proclamation of the republic by an Irish army officer.

The Irish tricolour was lowered to half-mast over the GPO and a minute's silence was observed in memory of all those who died.

There was a fly-past by the Irish Air Corps, as the ceremonies drew to a close with a parade through Dublin by several thousand members of the Irish Defence Forces.

WW1 context

President Higgins attended a series of centenary events over the Easter weekend.

Addressing descendants of those who took part in the Easter Rising, Mr Higgins said it was critical to remember its timing in the wider historical context of the First World War.

"The First World War and its rhetoric reinforced a perception that imperialism was drawing its final breath; after all six empires entered the war, only two would emerge. The world was in a turmoil of expectation of forms of independence."

President Higgins also reminded his audience that family loyalties were often split in 1916, between Irishmen serving with the British Army and those joining the rebellion. The full text of his speech can be found here.

The centenary commemorations, timed to coincide with Easter 2016, took place ahead of the April 24th anniversary of the rising.

It began on Easter Monday 1916 with the seizure of a number of key buildings in Dublin.

Although suppressed within a week, it is remembered as a significant step towards Irish independence.

Commemorative events marking the Easter Rising Centenary are taking place in Ireland throughout 2016. For more more details, visit the Ireland 2016 website.

Sources: President of Ireland, Ireland 2016, MerrionStreet-Irish Government News Service

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Posted by: CN Editorial Team