1916 centenary

Follow the events to commemorate the Easter Rising

Colin Gleeson Sun, Mar 27
LIVE: 1916 centenary

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  • 09:29
    Good morning. Welcome to the live blog covering the Easter Sunday 1916 Rising commemorations. It's a beautiful day in Dublin as crowds make their way into the city for the main event. For details of traffic restrictions see here.
  • 09:30
    The first event is taking place at Glasnevin cemetery in the next few minutes:  The first wreath will be laid at the Sigerson Monument for all who served during Easter Week.

    The second will be laid at the grave of Edward Hollywood, who was the weaver of the first Irish Tricolour in 1848.

    The ceremony will close with the final wreath being laid at the grave of Peadar Kearney, who wrote the lyrics to The Soldiers' Song - Amhrán na bhFiann.

  • 09:31
  • 09:34
    Details of today's events and live coverage can be found here.  
  • 09:35
  • 09:36
  • 09:38
  • 09:40
  • 09:43
    The main event begins at 10am.  Hundreds of thousands of people will line a 4.5km route across Dublin.  

    The main event includes the reading of the 1916 proclamation, under the GPO Portico, by a Defence Forces officer.

    The President will lay a wreath on behalf of the people of Ireland, followed by a minute's silence for all those who died. The National Flag on top of the GPO will then be raised to full mast and the ceremony will conclude with the playing of the National Anthem.

    The parade which will be led by the Defence Forces begins at St Stephen's Green.

  • 09:52
    The military parade  will involve 3,722 personnel from the Defence Forces and Emergency Services, 78 vehicles, 17 Aircraft as well as marching bands and colourful flag parties in full ceremonial order.
  • 09:52
    The parade starts on Stephens Green at 10am, passing by RCSI, up Patrick’s St., past Dublin Castle, across O’Connell Bridge at about 1230pm, up O’Connell St and ending at Bolton St at about 3pm.  
  • 10:02

    Events beginning at the Royal College of Surgeons with a flag ceremony. The RCSI was taken over by a small contingent of the Citizen Army garrison from St Stephen's Green led by Countess Markievicz on Easter Monday.  


  • 10:02
    Flag ceremony at the Royal College of Surgeons
    Flag ceremony at the Royal College of Surgeons
  • 10:17
  • 10:17
  • 10:21
    Officers of the 2nd Brigade lead the parade at St Stephen's Green towards the GPO.  
    Officers of the 2nd Brigade lead the parade at St Stephen's Green towards the GPO.  
  • 10:27
  • 10:31
    President Higgins is arriving at Kilmainham Gaol to  lay a wreath on the spot where 15 of the rebels were executed in the days after the Rising.
  • 10:33
    Wondering why the Rising matters? Read what historian Diarmaid Ferriter thinks here.  http://www.irishtimes.com/1916/diarmaid-ferriter-why-the-rising-matters-1.2353812
  • 10:35
    Kilmainham Gaol  was the execution place for most of the leaders of the 1916 Rising. These executions, from May 3rd to 12th, carried out under the orders of Gen Sir John Maxwell, Britain’s “military governor” in Dublin, helped convince many people to turn against the British and seek full independence....find out more about this and the other key sites of the rising in our interactive map.      http://www.irishtimes.com/1916/places-of-the-1916-rising
  • 10:40

    In a poignant ceremony at Kilmainham, President Higgins is laying a wreath in honour of all those who died.  

  • 10:42
  • 10:51
    Of those  who met their end at Kilmainham Gaol, were an ailing Joseph Mary Plunkett, who married his fiancée, Grace Gifford, in the jail chapel before being shot, and James Connolly, so badly injured that he had to be strapped to a chair before the firing squad.
  • 10:58
    Who were the main figures in the 1916 Rising?  Find our mini profiles here.
  • 11:05
    Don't forget the traffic restrictions in place today.
  • 11:06
    Reporting from Glasnevin, Sarah Bardon writes: Wreaths were placed at the graves of Edward Hollywood and Peader Kearney.

    Mr Kearney's grandchildren Peader, Eva, Brid and Pearse were present for the event.  

    Minister for Arts Heather Humphreys said today was a moment for reflection.  Ms Humphreys said the Rising was inspired by a vision for a better Ireland of equal rights and opportunity.

    It was a sincere quest for independence in spite of the consequences, she said.

    The Minister questioned what Mr Hollywood would think if he knew the tricolour had been presented to 4,000 schoolchildren across the country this year and what Mr Kearney would feel knowing his words had become the national anthem.

  • 11:21

    Atheist Ireland declined an invitation from the Irish Government to attend today’s State Ceremony at the GPO, and State Reception in Dublin Castle.

    In a statement, the group said it welcomed the intention of the Government to be inclusive of people of all religious and nonreligious beliefs in the events.

    “Atheist Ireland promotes an ethical secular Ireland,” it said. “The 1916 rising involved an undemocratic group killing innocent people, based on a Proclamation whose authors claimed that Ireland was acting through them in the name of God.

    “The Irish Government is reinforcing the religious connotations of the rising by marking its anniversary on the wrong date. The 1916 rising began on April 24th 1916. The Government is marking its centenary four weeks early, on 27 March 2016.”

  • 11:32
    Brigadier General Michael Beary, who is leading the parade, is outside the GPO and will salute the president shortly.
  • 11:35
  • 11:42
    Minister for Defence Simon Coveney is outside the GPO and is being welcomed by Defence Forces chief of staff Mark Mellett.
  • 11:45

    Now Lord Mayor of Dublin Criona ni Dhalaigh has joined him.

    You could hear a pin drop on O’Connell St despite the crowds.

  • 11:46
    President Michael D Higgins’ cavalcade is making its way down the quays.
  • 11:47

    Taoiseach Enda Kenny has also arrived at the GPO.

    He’s sporting a bright green tie.

  • 11:51
    Spontaneous applause breaking out among the crowds as the president’s cavalcade moves through the city centre.
  • 11:53

    President Higgins and his wife Sabina are now arriving at the GPO.

    Taoiseach Enda Kenny is there to welcome them as they step out of the car.

  • 11:55

    The president is now inspecting the guard of honour outside the GPO.

    Hopefully nobody’s tie is crooked.

  • 12:00
    The flag over the GPO is now being lowered to half mast.
  • 12:02

    Fr Seamus Madigan is reading a specially composed prayer for the occasion.

    “Look kindly, we pray, on all who lost their lives in 1916 and throughout the troubled history of our island.”

  • 12:13

    Captain Peter Kelleher is reading the proclamation.

  • 12:22

    Taoiseach Enda Kenny is speaking now.

    He pays tribute to the people who lost their lives and invites President Higgins to lay a wreath.

  • 12:23
    This is followed by a minute’s silence, which will be ended by muffled drum beat.
  • 12:27

    The flag above the GPO is being returned to full mast.

    We will shortly have the national anthem.

  • 12:29
    The Aer Corps performed a flyover from 700 feet above O’Connell St as the anthem was playing.
  • 12:34

    Members of the Irish United Nations Veterans Association are marching now.

    They are carrying flags representing countries where the Defence Forces have been deployed.

  • 12:45
  • 12:47
  • 12:54
    The armoured vehicles taking part in the parade are making their way up O’Connell St.
  • 13:07
    You can see a video of Captain Peter Kelleher reading the proclamation outside the GPO here.
  • 13:19

    Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams TD has said a united Ireland means the unity of the people of this island, “including those who see themselves as British”.

    Speaking at the Easter Rising commemoration in Belfast’s Milltown Cemetery, Mr Adams said:

    “The Peace Process and the Good Friday Agreement marked a historic shift in politics on this island.

    “For the first time, the roots of conflict were addressed and a democratic route to Irish unity opened up.

    “But there is much yet to be done. Hurts must be healed, divisions ended and the scourge of sectarianism must be tackled.

    “There is more to be done right across Ireland. While there have been improvements since it was first established the southern state is not the Republic proclaimed in 1916.

    “Current efforts by the Dublin establishment to pretend that it is are an insult to the men and women of 1916.

    “There are those who say that honouring the 1916 leaders might retrospectively justify violence.

    “But they say nothing critical of John Redmond and Edward Carson’s role in sending tens of thousands of young men to fight Germans, Austrians and Turks — with whom they and Ireland had no quarrel.

    “38 million people were killed in that imperial adventure. Were John Redmond and Edward Carson not ‘men of violence’?

    “A united Ireland means the unity of the people of this island, including those who see themselves as British.

    “That is why Irish governments must pursue every avenue to promote all-Ireland co-operation and to build relationships between all our people.

    “This must include genuine efforts to outreach to the unionists on the basis of equality.

    “The Assembly elections will be on May 5th – the anniversary of Bobby Sands death after 66 days on hunger strike.

    “We want to emerge with a stronger mandate that will allow us to continue with our work to deliver a future of equals, in a society of equals for all our citizens.”

  • 13:40
    50 representatives of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution taking part in the parade are crossing O’Connell Bridge.
  • 13:49

    The last of the parade has passed the GPO.

    The next part of the celebrations features a 21 gun salute.

  • 13:51
    The guns being used were purchased from the British army and featured in the D-Day invasion of France.
  • 14:18
  • 14:40

    Thousands marched and several thousand more lined the Falls Road in Belfast for the parade to the republican plot in Milltown Cemetery.

    Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams and senior republicans such as Bobby Storey, Brendan “Bik” McFarlane and Padraic Wilson marched towards the head of the parade.

    Hundreds appeared in 1916 replica uniform with many more dressed in black berets and dark clothes. Others dressed in modern-day Provisional IRA garb. A number of the marchers bore rifles and handguns from the period.

    There were posters of the 1916 Proclamation signatories along the route. Many of the marchers carried tricolours while children on the Falls Road also waved green, white and orange flags.

  • 14:44

    The Irish Times will have plenty of coverage over the coming hours and days.

    You can read Frank McNally’s 1916 guide for the outsider here.

  • 14:55
    Gardai on rooftop in Dublin
    Gardai on rooftop in Dublin
  • 14:57
  • 14:58
  • 14:59
  • 15:17

    A formal State reception at the Taoiseach’s invitation is to take place at Dublin Castle later tonight.

    Approximately 2,000 relatives of those who took part in 1916 are invited as well as 1,000 other guests from across the spectrum of Irish life.

    Entertainment based on the Ireland 2016 themes of Remember, Reflect and Reimagine will be provided.

  • 15:20

    The commemorations continue tomorrow with RTÉ 1916: Reflecting the Rising.

    The large-scale multi-location public event that will take place in Dublin from 11am to 6pm, with hundreds of talks, walking tours, music, dance, street art, street theatre, and moments of reflection and celebration.

    Separately, synchronised wreath-laying ceremonies will take place at 12.45pm at six iconic sites associated with the Easter Rising in Dublin.

    The ceremonies begin at 12.45pm and finish at 1.30pm, wreaths will be laid at 1.15pm.

    Wreaths will be laid in the following locations: Boland's Mill; Jacobs Factory (now the National Archives); Dublin Castle/City Hall; The Four Courts; Royal College of Surgeons; Moore Street and St James' Hospital.

    A Minister will open each ceremony with a brief explanation of the significance of each of the locations in the Rising.

    Two wreaths will be laid at each location at precisely 1.15pm, the time when the first shots of the Rising were fired.

    The wreath-laying ceremonies will incorporate a formal military ceremonial element and a minute of silent reflection.

    These events are open to the public and a small number of seats will be provided at each location for those who require one.

  • 15:25
    Worth bearing in mind that road closures and diversions will remain in place until 8pm. For more information see AA Roadwatch.
  • 15:51
    That's where we'll leave it for now. See irishtimes.com for all the coverage over the coming days.