A Nation’s respect

by Gazette Reporter
The short play GPO 1818 will mark the bicentenary of the iconic Dublin building

The 1916 Easter Rising celebrations were a massive success over the weekend with hundreds of thousands of people lining the streets of Dublin to watch the main Easter Sunday State Commemoration Ceremony.

As part of the commemoration ceremony and parade, a reading of the 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic was held at 10am outside the GPO on Sunday morning.

The parade then made its way from St Stephen’s Green to College Green, stopping off at Dublin Castle.

The parade saw 3,700 members of the Defence Forces, gardai and the emergency services march along a 4.5km route and as part of the main ceremony.

Children representing the four provinces of Ireland laid daffodils at the GPO as a lone piper played Down By The Salley Gardens.

On Saturday, as part of many other commemoration events taking place around the capital, President Michael D Higgins laid a wreath at the Garden of Remembrance in a ceremony that saw the attendance of 700 relatives of 78 people who died during the Rising.

A minute’s silence was held after President Higgins laid the wreath and the ceremony finished with the national anthem.

On Sunday evening, President Higgins attended a separate ceremony in the RDS where he met relatives of those who died in the 1916 Easter Rising.

More than 4,000 relatives attended the event and President Higgins said: “Our nation has journeyed many miles from the shell shocked and burning Dublin of 1916. We can see that in many respects we have not fully achieved the dreams and ideals for which our forebears gave so much.

“A democracy is always and must always be a work in progress, and how we use the independence we have been gifted will continue to challenge us, morally and ethically.”

Dublin Mid-West was shrouded in patriotic zeal over the Easter break to mark the 1916 centenary celebrations.

Residents from Newcastle, Saggart, Brittas and Rathcoole celebrated a wide variety of events to mark the day, courtesy of the 4 Districts 1916 Centenary Committee, the local historical society and South Dublin County Council.

During the event, lots of pipe band music was played, along with entertainment from the Retired Active Men’s Social Group.

Also on the day, a small wreath laying ceremony took place in Tallaght to honour the men and women who gave their lives for Ireland in 1916.

The event organised by the Tallaght Historical Society, with guests, Canon William Deverell (Church of Ireland), and councillors, Maire Devine (SF), Charlie O’Connor (FF), and Deirdre O’Donovan (Ind); and two very special guests who held the flag, Roisin Healy, aged three, and Robin Donoghue, aged two.

Cumann na mBan re-enactor Enid Monaghan (53) from Clondalkin, took part in the main events in the city centre, and said the women who fought for Irish freedom had been forgotten for much of the past century.

“It’s almost like they fell down a chasm and never climbed out,” she said.

In Celbridge, a commemoration ceremony took place at Donaghcomper Cemetery.

Locals Tom Kealy, Anthony O’Reilly and Peter Connolly were remembered along with all of the other people who died in 1916.

There was also a reading of the 1916 Proclamation on the day which attracted a large crowd.

In Fingal, members of St John Ambulance marched in the Easter parade and saw their very own 4×4 unit from Castleknock towing a replica vehicle from 1916.

While laying a wreath outside the RSCI alongside the great-grandchildren of two Volunteers killed during the Rising, Blanchardstown acting Minister Leo Varadkar said the “legacy of 1916 belonged to everyone”.

“The [rebels] left us a democratic legacy that transcends politics and traditions.

“We should be proud of the Ireland that was created, and not be afraid to try and do more,” he said.

The Old Fingal IRA Commemoration also took place on Easter Sunday as part of the celebrations, with a ceremony in St Patrick’s Church, Donabate, followed by a parade to the old cemetery.

One of the highlight events of the Fingal 2016 Centenary Programme was the ceremony which commemorated the Fingallians who took part in the 1916 Rising and, in particular, the Battle of Ashbourne.

Following the ceremony by Fr Pat Hannion in St Patrick’s Church, the Black Raven Pipe Band led a parade from the Beaverstown Road to the Old Cemetery.

A variety of family activities were then held including a  reading of the proclamation, a performance of the Last Post, the  traditional final salute to the fallen and the rising of the Irish flag.

Deansgrange Cemetery was at the centre of the 1916 Rising as over 170 people from the Dun Laoghaire Rathdown area were involved in the rebellion.

More than 100 people involved in the Rising are buried there including the executed Sir Roger Casement and Major John MacBride.

DLR and the 1916 Rising: An Exhibition is currently running at Deansgrange until the end of September.

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