Two arrested as Easter Rising memorial plaque unveiled in Glasnevin

Two arrested as Easter Rising memorial plaque unveiled in Glasnevin
Protesters hold placards outside Glasnevin cemetery in Dublin. Picture: PA

By Daniel McConnell Political Editor

Minor scuffles broke out outside Glasnvevin Cemetery today resulting in two arrests after efforts were made to set a British flag alight.

More than 100 protesters, many brandishing hard-line Republican logos and slogans, had gathered outside the cemetery to protest at the inclusion of British army and police names on a 1916 Remembrance Wall.

According to reports, there were efforts to burn a Union Jack, the British flag, but the inclement weather made this impossible.

A number of protestors used fireworks and it has also been claimed that a banger was hurled towards gardaí. This led to the breakout of scuffles for a short period.

Having failed to ignite the flag, protestors then chose to throw it on the ground.

The solemn occasion continued inside the cemetery amid heavy security, with the surrounding roads were closed by gardaí.

Gardaí clashed with the protesters with one 15-year-old youth arrested for an alleged breach of public order. The youth was taken to Mountjoy station nearby.

A second arrest was later confirmed.

The solemn occasion continued inside the cemetery amid heavy security, with the surrounding roads were closed by gardaí.

Among the dignitaries present at the event were Acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Arts Minister Heather Humphreys and British Ambassador to Ireland Dominick Chilcott.

The inclusive memorial wall has been the subject of severe criticism from so-called republicans who have objected at the inclusion of names of British forces who died during Easter Week 1916, alongside the names of Irish men and women killed 100 years ago.

The Wall bears the names of all those who died - listing Irish, British, military and civilian alongside one another. The names will be presented in a chronological order without distinction between the different categories.

According to organisers, the Glasnevin wall was inspired by the International Memorial of Notre Dame de Lorette in France.

The Ring of Remembrance lists in alphabetical order without any distinction of nationality, rank or religion, the names of the soldiers from all sides who died in the battlefields of Northern France between 1914 and 1918 in the Great War.

Sinn Féin has criticised the inclusion of British names on the Memorial Wall, describing it as “totally inappropriate”.

“It is totally inappropriate for a memorial wall to list indiscriminately together Irish freedom fighters and members of the British crown forces,” Dublin South Central TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh said.

“Everyone should have the right to remember and honour their dead, whether they were Irish republicans, members of British crown forces or civilians. That is catered for already within Glasnevin Cemetery with its many and diverse memorials and graves,” said Mr Ó Snodaigh.

Acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the ceremony today. Picture: LENSMEN
Acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the ceremony today. Picture: LENSMEN

Engraved on the stones

Press Association

The 488 names of those known to have died in the Rising are listed in alphabetical order.

The names of 119 British soldiers, some of whom are buried in Glasnevin, are engraved on the reflective black granite stones.

The Glasnevin Trust has insisted the memorial is an attempt to present the historical facts, without hierarchy or judgement.

John Green, chairman of Glasnevin Trust, told the service the wall reflected modern Ireland.

"Behind each and everyone of these lost lives is a story of heartbreak, no matter what side the person served on or indeed for those innocently caught up in the conflict," he said.

"One hundred years on we believe this memorial reflects the time we live in, with the overwhelming majority of the Irish people wishing to live in peace and in reconciliation. But it is for each visitor to take from the wall what they wish."

Senior church figures from a range of faiths and humanist representatives were among those to speak at the ceremony.

The project has drawn inspiration from an international memorial near Arras in France that lists the names of 580,000 people killed in fighting on the western front in the First World War.

Acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny laid a wreath after a number of local school children were invited to unveil the new memorial wall. A minute's silence was observed before the last post was sounded and the Tricolour raised from half to full mast.

The service concluded with the playing of Amhrán na bhFiann.

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