23 March 2008

Easter Rising commemorated in Dublin

More than 5000 people have today attended the annual ceremony in front of the General Post Office (GPO) in Dublin's O'Connell Street, marking the anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising. Many of those present were relatives of volunteers who lost their lives in the fight for Irish freedom. The event was attended by President Mary McAleese, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, the Minister for Defence Willie O'Dea, and - as a special guest - the North's Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.

President McAleese arrived with a large motorcycle escort and then inspected a guard of honour. She laid a wreath at the entrance to the GPO (right), which served as the headquarter of Padraig Pearse, commander of the volunteers during the rising.

The Easter commemoration began with prayers, followed by the traditional reading of the original 1916 proclamation - which was today the duty of Captain Ross Dunphy (left) - and a flypast by the Air Corps.

Over 300 members of the Irish Defence Forces took part in the 30 minute ceremony to honour those who died in the Easter Rising 92 years ago. They included contingents from the Naval Service, the Air Corps and Army Reserve.

Two years ago, on the 90th anniversary, a big military parade with nearly 3000 soldiers was part of the ceremony, but in normal years the event is traditionally held on a modest level.

The Emerald Islander

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