Ireland holds remembrance ceremony for 1916 Easter Rising

2016-03-26 19:07

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London - Ireland marked the centenary of the Easter Rising against British rule on Saturday with a remembrance ceremony, ahead of a state reception for hundreds of relatives of people who joined the 1916 rebellion.

President Michael D Higgins laid a wreath before a one-minute silence was observed at a midday ceremony in Dublin's Garden of Remembrance.

Acting Prime Minister Enda Kenny and senior ministers also attended the remembrance ceremony, joining about 700 relatives of 78 people who died in 1916, national broadcaster RTE reported.

Higgins is scheduled to speak at a state reception for about 4 000 people later on Saturday.

He will lead the main commemorations of the Easter Rising on Sunday, including a ceremony at Dublin's General Post Office (GPO), where Padraig Pearse read the Proclamation of the Irish Republic in 1916.

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to join a parade through the city following the GPO ceremony.

Later on Sunday, Higgins plans to lay a wreath at the site where British forces executed many of the leaders of the 1916 uprising, before attending a state reception at Dublin Castle in the evening.

Ahead of the anniversary, Higgins used his St Patrick's Day address to highlight "the complexity of the historic event that was the Easter Rising."

"We can now acknowledge the diverse identities, backgrounds and experiences of those who participated in it, as well as the varied ideologies and beliefs that motivated them," he said.

"We also recognise that, whatever their differing priorities, all of these men and women were at one in their commitment to rejecting empire," Higgins said.

"All of them were determined to achieve independence, and to proclaim a free republic with equal rights and opportunities for all its citizens."

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