So, what’s going on in Ireland this weekend to mark the centenary?
The details of the state’s major commemorative events for Easter have been announced and the events are set to be the largest ever staged in the history of the State.
The series of State ceremonial events will begin on Easter Saturday, with a ceremony in the Garden of Remembrance, and will culminate on Easter Monday night with Centenary, a TV spectacular to be broadcast at home and abroad, produced by RTE in collaboration with the State’s Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme.
First thing’s first – Saturday’s events
· Noon: State Ceremony at the Garden of Remembrance to remember and honour those who gave their lives for Irish freedom.
· 6pm, RDS: State event for Relatives of participants in the 1916 Rising, which will include a keynote address by President Michael D. Higgins and a special performance of the Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann Macalla 1916
What’s happening on Easter Sunday?
· 9.30am: State Ceremony in three parts at Glasnevin Cemetery, which includes a wreath-layings at the Sigerson Monument, the grave of Edward Hollywood and the grave of Peadar Kearney.
· State Ceremonial event at the Stone Breakers Yard in Kilmainham on the site where the 1916 leaders were executed in Kilmainham Gaol.
· Noon: The Easter Centenary Parade which, over a 4.5 km route across the city centre, involves over 3,700 personnel from all branches of the Defence Forces, the Gardaí and the emergency services. The State Ceremonial will take place at 12 noon at the GPO, where President Michael D. Higgins will lay a wreath on behalf of the people of Ireland.
Finally, what to expect on Easter Monday
· 11am-6pm: The major public event for Easter Monday is RTÉ Reflecting the Rising in partnership with Ireland 2016, at multiple locations around Dublin. It will include more than 500 free talks, exhibitions, debates, film, performances and dramatizations, with six outdoor stages and lots of activities for children and families, in more than 200 venues spanning both sides of Dublin City Centre.
·1.15pm: Synchronised wreath-laying ceremonies on Easter Monday at seven 1916 garrison locations around Dublin including Boland’s Mill, Jacob’s Factory (Bishop Street), Dublin Castle/ City Hall, The Four Courts, The Royal College of Surgeons, Moore Street and St. James’ Hospital (South Dublin Union). At the same moment, there will also be four wreath-layings in Athenry, Cork, Enniscorthy and Ashbourne.
Minister Heather Humphreys said: “We are expecting hundreds of thousands of people to come to Dublin city centre throughout the course of the weekend, and we are doing all we can to ensure as many people as possible can enjoy the occasion. People are encouraged to take public transport and to check out all access routes on www.ireland.ie. There will be 22 viewing screens along the parade route on Easter Sunday, with five other setback areas, where families can congregate.
“Each day of the weekend is anchored in a respectful commemorative ceremony, to remember those who lost their lives in the pursuit of self determination and democracy. While Sunday will be a day of solemn reflection, on Monday we will celebrate our Irishness, our diversity and our national identity in an incredible array of artistic, historical and culture events.
“The scale of this weekend’s programme of events is unprecedented, and I would like to acknowledge the huge amount of preparation and hard work which has been done by all arms of the State, including the Defence Forces and the Gardaí, as well as staff working right across Government.
“100 years on from 1916, Ireland is a democracy which has stood the test of time, despite considerable challenges. This weekend we will honour the courage and ideals that characterised the events and people of 1916, while also reflecting on our entire history and the diverse national identity which makes us Irish today.”
Full event details of all events and FAQ’s are available at www.ireland.ie
Please plan your travel before you set off: www.transportforireland.ie