Saturday 22 September 2018

One hundred years on, Ireland remembers sacrifice

Enda Kenny
Enda Kenny

Exactly 100 years after the first shots were fired in the 1916 Rising, the centenary was celebrated with reverence but with dancing in the streets too.

Silence fell in Arbour Hill church as Archbishop Diarmuid Martin told how the bodies of the executed leaders had arrived for burial there, "still warm and dripping with blood before being hurriedly put into a common grave".


President Michael D Higgins' wife, Sabina, appeared to wipe tears from her eyes as she sat in the church, contemplating the depths of their sacrifice.

The event felt special and even more emotional than the lavish spectacle at the GPO at Easter, relatives said afterwards.

Dr Martin called on all Irish people to never betray the ideals of 1916.

There was a minute's silence after Mr Higgins laid awreath and stood in reflection at the graveside.

Two hours later, Merrion Square became a living 1916 pageant as the People's Parade prepared to march to the GPO, with thousands taking part.

Chief patron of the citizens' initiative was artist Robert Ballagh, who had criticised the State commemorations.

Damian Dempsey told the crowd he would try to sing his song about James Connolly "without crying".

There was a video message from Panti Bliss and Frances Black sang the Foggy Dew.

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