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Easter Rising parade taking place

Crowds line Dame Street in Dublin city centre as the military parade gets under way

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RTE

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Crowds lined Dame Street in Dublin city centre as the military parade got under way

Hundreds of thousands of people are gathering in Dublin where a parade is taking place to mark the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising.

The parade is the culmination of a series of centenary commemoration events in the Republic of Ireland.

The 1916 rebellion was an attempt to overthrow British rule in Ireland.

Irish President Michael D Higgins has laid a wreath at Kilmainham Gaol, where 14 of the Rising’s leaders were executed by British troops.

Media captionMichael D Higgins lays a wreath at Kilmainham Gaol on behalf of the people of Ireland

Acting Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny also took part in the ceremony, with Northern Ireland’s Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness among the senior politicians attending the event.

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RTÉ

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The Irish flag was raised in the stonebreakers’ yard at Kilmainham Gaol where 14 of the 16 leaders were executed

A piper played a lament in tribute to those who lost their lives, before a military band played The Last Post and the Irish national anthem, as the Irish tricolour was raised.

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Former Irish presidents Mary McAleese, Mary Robinson and Northern Ireland’s Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness are among the invited guests for the Dublin commemorations

The Easter Rising was quelled within six days by British troops, but despite its failure it is seen as a significant stepping stone to the eventual creation of the Republic of Ireland and the partition of Ireland.

Over 450 people were killed and 2,500 injured during six days of fighting.

Fourteen rebel leaders were executed by firing squad in the stonebreakers’ yard at Kilmainham Gaol in the aftermath of the Rising.

Two other rebel leaders were executed elsewhere – Thomas Kent was shot dead by firing squad in Cork and Roger Casement was hanged at Pentonville Gaol in London.

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Irish soldiers salute at the wreath-laying ceremony in Kilmainham Gaol

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Members of the Irish Defence Forces are taking part in the biggest military parade ever seen in the Republic of Ireland

The military parade following the wreath-laying ceremonies is the largest ever staged in the Republic of Ireland.

More than 3,600 personnel from the Irish Army, Air Corps and Naval Service will take part in the procession through the capital city, along with some members of the emergency services.


A century after Dublin’s O’Connell Street was at the centre of conflict, it is the focal point for commemorations.

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PA

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The GPO was left in ruins in 1916 but was later rebuilt and it is now the focus of Sunday’s commemorations

The General Post Office (GPO) – that 100 years ago was the rebel’s military headquarters – is already surrounded by cameras and seating banks.

The whole road has been closed off to form an arena for Sunday’s main ceremony that will be broadcast around the world.

Here, when the commemorative parade arrives, there will be a reading of the Proclamation, the document that Pádraig Pearse used to declare a rebellion on Easter Monday 1916.

A huge amount of preparation has been needed just to accommodate the sheer numbers who are expected to fill Dublin’s streets.

There have been many rehearsals to ensure that events at the GPO go smoothly in front of invited guests, politicians and relatives of those who took part in the rebellion.

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A commemoration ceremony will take place at Dublin’s General Post Office (GPO) as part of the centenary parade

What is notable is who will not be at event.

Northern Ireland’s unionist First Minister Arlene Foster and even the leader of its cross-community Alliance Party, David Ford, both made clear they were not prepared to attend the Easter Sunday parade.

That is a sign of the sensitivities that still exist over a six-day battle that left British soldiers, civilians and Irish volunteers dead.

However the British government has made a point of stating that it recognises the importance of the Rising to people throughout Ireland.

And the UK’s Northern Ireland Secretary of State Theresa Villiers has praised efforts by the Irish government to make these centenary events inclusive.


Wreaths were also laid at the Sigerson Monument, which is dedicated to all those who died during the Rising, and the graves of Edward Hollywood and Peader Kearney.

Edward Hollywood weaved the first Irish tricolour flag in 1848 and Peader Kearney wrote the words to the Irish national anthem Amhrán na bhFiann (The Soldier’s Song).

Media captionBBC News NI travels the route the 1916 Easter Sunday Commemoration parade will take

The parade started at 10:30 local time, with up to 250,000 people expected to line the 2.7 mile route through Dublin city centre.

At 12:00, the parade will pause at Dublin’s General Post Office (GPO) for a commemoration ceremony.

The GPO was one of the key locations of the Rising and the headquarters of its leaders.

The 1916 proclamation will be read out by an officer from the Irish defence forces and the president will lay another wreath.

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