Easter Rising: Irish president leads Dublin commemoration

Irish President Michael D Higgins laying a wreath at the Easter Rising commemoration in Dublin
Irish President Michael D Higgins was among those who attended the Dublin ceremony

The 103rd anniversary of the Easter Rising has been commemorated with a military ceremony in the Republic of Ireland.

Irish President Michael D Higgins laid a wreath outside the General Post Office (GPO) on Dublin’s O’Connell Street.

The 1916 rebellion – in which more than 450 were killed – was an attempt to overthrow British rule in Ireland.

The GPO served as the headquarters of the 1916 rebels.

Captain Paul Conlon and his son Seanan outside the GPO in Dublin
Captain Paul Conlon – pictured with his son Seanan – read the Proclamation outside the GPO

Crowds gathered for the national commemoration in Dublin on Sunday, with Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar among those who attended the event.

Prayers of remembrance were said and a captain in the Irish Defence Forces read the Irish Proclamation to the crowd.

Members of the Irish Defence Forces at the Easter Rising commemoration in Dublin
Members of the Irish Defence Forces lined out at the commemoration in Dublin

The proclamation, which declared the establishment of a republic, was one of the final steps taken by those who planned the rising.

It was read outside the GPO in 1916 by Pádraig Pearse, who was acting as president of the provisional government of the Irish Republic, to signal the beginning of the Easter Rising.

Other commemoration events have been held across the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland on Sunday.

A graphic explaining what the Easter Rising was: Rebellion to overthrow British rule in Ireland in 1916 and set up an Irish republic; Britain caught aware as its forces were focused on World War One; Rebels surrender on 29 April after onslaught by British forces in Dublin; Public support turns to support Rising after leaders executed; More than 450 people killed and 2,500 wounded

At a ceremony at Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin, Irish Culture Minister Josepha Madigan condemned the murder of journalist Lyra McKee in Northern Ireland.

Police have blamed dissident republicans for her murder in Londonderry on Thursday, which happened during rioting in the city’s nationalist Creggan area.

Madigan said those responsible for the killing did not represent anybody on the island of Ireland.

There was a minute’s silence in honour of Ms McKee and those killed in bomb attacks in Sri Lanka on Sunday.