Minor scuffles erupted outside Glasnvevin Cemetery in Dublin yesterday resulting in two arrests.
More than 100 protesters, many brandishing hardline Republican logos and slogans, gathered outside the cemetery to protest at the inclusion of British army and police names on a 1916 Remembrance Wall.
Gardaí clashed with the protesters, with one 15-year-old youth arrested for an alleged breach of public order, a spokesman told the Irish Examiner. The youth was taken to Mountjoy station nearby. A second arrest was later confirmed.
According to reports, there were efforts to burn a Union Jack, but the inclement weather made this impossible. A number of protestors used fireworks and it has also been claimed that a banger was thrown at gardaí. This led to the outbreak 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.
Among those present at the event were acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Arts Minister Heather Humphreys, and British ambassador to Ireland, Dominick Chilcott.
In a bid to disrupt the ceremony, one protestor outside the ceremony played rebel songs into a megaphone.
The inclusive memorial wall has been the subject of criticism from those 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 and British, military and civilian, alongside one another.
The names will be presented in a chronological order without distinction between the categories.
great-uncle Thomas McLeady, who died during the Rising.
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 First World 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,” said Dublin South Central Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh.
“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.”
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