President Higgins leads Easter Rising commemorations as Covid-19 victims remembered

President Higgins leads Easter Rising commemorations as Covid-19 victims remembered
President Higgins lays a wreath at a group of 16 birch trees planted by himself and Sabina in honour of the revolutionaries executed after the 1916 Rising in the gardens of Áras An Uachtaráin. Picture: Maxwells

- with reporting from Press Association

A commemoration ceremony to mark the 104th anniversary of the Easter Rising has taken place in Dublin.

In a televised commemoration, the ceremony began with Mr Higgins ringing the Peace Bell at Aras an Uachtarain, followed by a prayer and a reading of the Proclamation.

Mr Higgins laid the wreath at a group of 16 birch trees that were planted by the president and his wife Sabina.

The laying of the wreath was followed by a minute’s silence, commemorating those who died in the Easter Rising as well as the victims of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The ceremony, which was reduced because of the Covid-19 restrictions, was broadcast live from the Aras and the GPO.

This was followed by the lowering of the national flag to half-mast on the GPO rooftop.

In the GPO inner courtyard, Head Chaplain to the Forces Fr Seamus Madigan read a prayer of remembrance.

Captain Darren Reilly read the Proclamation in front of the GPO. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar attended the event at the GPO.

In his prayer, Fr Madigan called for special remembrance of those who have died as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak.

"As we commemorate the sacrifice of those who died during 1916 and gather in their memory, we pray for our country, our people and the challenges of these times.

"Remembering especially all those who have died during this most difficult time."

The ceremony, which was reduced because of the Covid-19 restrictions, was broadcast live from the Aras and The GPO.

He also called for “healing of those touched by Covid-19, strength for all who carry the burden of this illness and courage for those who care for our fragile world”.

    The latest restrictions in operation since Friday, March 27 mandate that everyone should stay at home, only leaving to:
  • Shop for essential food and household goods;
  • Attend medical appointments, collect medicine or other health products;
  • Care for children, older people or other vulnerable people - this excludes social family visits;
  • Exercise outdoors - within 2kms of your home and only with members of your own household, keeping 2 metres distance between you and other people
  • Travel to work if you provide an essential service - be sure to practice social distancing

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