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Sunday 4 December 2016

Emotional scenes as Irish who died in past wars remembered

Remembrance

12/07/2015. Pictured President Michael D Higgins lays a wreath on behalf of the Irish people at The National Day of Commemoration held at The Royal Hospital Kilmainham in Dublin
12/07/2015. Pictured President Michael D Higgins lays a wreath on behalf of the Irish people at The National Day of Commemoration held at The Royal Hospital Kilmainham in Dublin
12/07/2015. Pictured an Taoiseach Enda Kenny arrives at The National Day of Commemoration held at The Royal Hospital Kilmainham in Dublin
12/07/2015. Pictured is former Irish President and former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights arriving at The National Day of Commemoration held at The Royal Hospital Kilmainham in Dublin

A service to commemorate all the Irish who died in previous conflicts has been held in Dublin.

In the quadrangle of the Royal Hospital at Kilmainham, over 1,200 people gathered to remember all Irish men and women who died in past wars, or on service with the United Nations.

President Michael D Higgins and Taoiseach Enda Kenny led the tributes at the annual National Day of Commemoration in Dublin.

It was attended by the next-of-kin of those who died, as well as members of the Government, the Council of State, the diplomatic corps, and the judiciary.

Former President Mary Robinson was also in attendance, as were relatives of the 1916 leaders.

Some retired military personnel were moved to tears as they remembered lost comrades.

The commemoration began with separate formal military receptions for Mr Higgins and Mr Kenny.

In a poignant act of solidarity, representatives of seven religions then took part in a multi-denominational service.

With a threatening veil of leaden skies overhead, Mr Higgins walked forward to lay a wreath to the fallen on behalf of the people of Ireland.

Head bowed, he stood in solemn silence as a minute's silence was observed.

Trumpeters and drummers sounded the Last Post and the ceremony concluded with the tricolour hoisted to full mast, accompanied by a roll of drums. During a soaring rendition of Amhrán na bhFiann, there was a flyover by the Air Corps.

Oireachtas members attending included Tánaiste Joan Burton, Health Minister Leo Varadkar and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald and Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney.

Regional celebrations also took place in Cork, Galway, Kilkenny, Limerick, Waterford and Sligo.

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