Rising centenary events will be largest in State’s history

Hundreds of thousands are expected to take part in events commemorating 1916

Commemorations for the centenary of the Easter Rising this weekend will be the largest public event in the history of the State, the organisers said.

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to line the streets of Dublin for the parade on Easter Sunday, which will feature 3,722 members of the Defence Forces.

At 4.5km in length, the Easter parade will be 2km longer than the St Patrick’s Day parade.

It will begin at St Stephen’s Green at 10am and will stop at the Royal College of Surgeons, where a colour party will receive the Citizen Army Flag and the Irish Republic Flag.


The parade will start with members of the Defence Forces. They will be joined along the route by members of An Garda Síochána, the Irish Prison Service, the Dublin Fire Services and others.

The principal event of the weekend will be at the GPO, with a reading of the Proclamation and a wreath-laying ceremony led by President Michael D Higgins.

It will be followed by an Air Corps flypast. Some 6,000 people will be accommodated in grandstands on O'Connell Street; 5,000 of them will be relatives of 1916 participants.

‘Centenary’ concert

The parade will be the highlight of a weekend of activities, which will begin on Saturday morning with a service in the Garden of Remembrance and end on Monday night with a concert, Centenary, in the

Bord Gáis

Energy Theatre.

Unfortunately, the forecast for the weekend is not good. Wind and rain are expected to replace the bright and dry spring weather of late.

Easter Sunday is expected to be cold and showery, with highest temperatures forecast of just 10 degrees.

Easter Monday, which will feature many outdoor events in Dublin, could be very wet and windy.

There will be major disruption in the city centre over the weeken due to the commemorations.

O’Connell Street will be closed to traffic on Friday and Saturday to facilitate the building of grandstands.

It will also be closed on Sunday for the parade and on Monday for the Reflecting the Rising event, which will be jointly staged by Ireland 2016 and RTÉ.

Glen Killane, RTÉ's managing director of television, called Reflecting the Rising and the programmes around the commemorations the "biggest piece of work ever undertaken by this organisation".

Temporary terminals

Extra bus and rail services will be laid on during the weekend. Buses will be rerouted during the weekend and, on Sunday, 10 temporary terminals will operate in the city centre.

Dart and Luas services are due to operate to weekday timetables on Sunday, although confirmation of the operation of Luas services will depend on the outcome of a drivers’ ballot today.

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Heather Humphreys, said that, in honouring the dead of 1916, "we cannot be selective. All lives are equal and 2016 will be a year when everybody on the island of Ireland are included and heard.

“That is how we will truly honour the ideals of the Proclamation. The commemorations will be inclusive, appropriate and respectful.”

The State will host an event for relatives on Saturday evening at the RDS, which will be addressed by the President.

The State ceremonies on Sunday will begin at 9.30am with a wreath-laying ceremony in Glasnevin Cemetery.

It will be followed by a State ceremonial event at the stone breakers yard in Kilmainham, followed by the Easter parade.

Monday will see wreath-laying ceremonies at seven 1916 garrison locations in Dublin and also in Athenry, Cork, Enniscorthy and Ashbourne.

The ceremony will take place at 1.15pm, the exact time that the Rising broke out.

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy is a news reporter with The Irish Times