Details of 1916 ceremony unveiled

Relatives of 1916 rebels are due to lead a military parade to mark the 100th anniversary of the uprising, Taoiseach Enda Kenny has announced.

Mr Kenny said the nationwide celebrations would be built around the themes of remembrance, reconciliation, imagination, creativity and achievement.

Permanent reminders of anniversary will be erected at seven sites at a cost of €22m, as well as commemorative stamps and coins depicting the rebel leaders.

The military ceremony will be held on Easter Sunday, 2016, with a separate commemoration at Arbour Hill on the actual day of the uprising on April 24.

Parts of the Taoiseach’s speech were drowned out inside the GPO as anti-water charge protestors banged loudly and repeatedly on the windows of the building from outside.

Launching the programme of events at the GPO, Mr Kenny said the year needed to be about more than looking back.

“Remembrance on its own is insufficient to honour the ideals and achievements of the men and women who proclaimed our Republic. We can best honour the past by reflecting deeply and seriously on the present, by exploring and celebrating our achievements, and by creatively re-imagining how we should aspire to the ideal of the Republic as proclaimed in 1916,” he said.

Tánaiste Joan Burton said: “The 1916 Rising cannot be commemorated as a once-off event, which somehow led to a self-governing Irish state — it was part of a long, complex, creative but frequently painful process by which the modern Irish state and Northern Ireland emerged.

“A critical and open-minded exploration of these formative years in the history of modern Ireland is an essential step towards lasting reconciliation between the different communities and traditions which share the island of Ireland.”

The inclusion of descendents in the main ceremony became a sensitive issue after the GPO event was boycotted by the 1916 Relatives Association over what they called “stunt politics”.

The group was disappointed by a meeting with Arts Minister Heather Humphreys, and said the Government had been giving confusing signals.

“We have absolutely no confidence in the minister and her poor attempt at stunt politics. Minister Humphreys appears to have no clue as to what is going on,” a spokesperson said.

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Commemorating 100 years since the War of Independence