Dublin hotels fully booked for Easter 1916 commemorations

Gardaí expecting ‘tsunami of people’ as 360,000 due in capital for Sunday parade

Then and now: Corner of Sackville Street and Eden Quay, Dublin

Then and now: Corner of Sackville Street and Eden Quay, Dublin


There was bad news yesterday for anyone contemplating a 1916 commemoration break in Dublin – the city’s 50,000 hotel beds are fully booked for the Easter period with a “tsunami of people” expected to attend the Sunday parade, the Garda has said.

More than 360,000 people are expected to attend the parade to mark 100 years since the 1916 Rising, which will run from the Royal College of Surgeons on St Stephen’s Green to Bolton Street.

It will feature 2,500 members of the Defence Forces, with guns, tanks and other military vehicles; more than 1,000 gardaí, fire officers, ambulance operators and members of the RNLI; and 200 retired Army veterans. Beginning at 10am on Easter Sunday, it is expected to complete the route by 2.30pm.

At approximately 12.30pm, the parade will stop outside the GPO, where the Proclamation will be read, the Tricolour will be raised and President Michael D Higgins will lay a wreath. The ceremony will conclude with the national anthem and an Air Corps flypast.

There will also be 22 viewing screens along the route, and at St Stephen’s Green, Trinity College, Merrion Square, King’s Inns and Smithfield. Middle and Lower O’Connell Street will be reserved for 6,000 invited guests.

Other State ceremonies on Easter Sunday include wreath-laying at Glasnevin Cemetery and Kilmainham Gaol. After the parade, 1,000 singers from all over Ireland will perform a new choral work, entitled A Nation’s Voice, with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, at the National Museum, Collins Barracks, which will be televised.

State reception Later on Sunday, there will be a State reception at Dublin Castle for 2,000 relatives of those who took part in the Rising, and 1,000 other guests.

On Easter Monday, there will be 400 free events in and around the centre of Dublin on the theme of “Reflecting the Rising”, including indoor and outdoor music, performances, exhibits and talks.

There will also be nationwide, synchronised wreath-laying ceremonies at 1.15pm, marking the moment when the first shots of the Rising were fired.

Speaking at an information event for businesses in Dublin yesterday, Supt Kevin Dalton, of Store Street Garda station, said 360,000 people were expected to attend the parade. He said those who lived outside the M50 should leave their cars outside the ring route. Those who lived inside the M50 should keep their cars on the outside of the North Circular Road or Grand Canal.

Lockdown He said the city’s 50,000 hotel beds were full for the two-week period and Dublin Airport is very busy.

“All the indications are of a tsunami of people coming into the city,” he said.

O’Connell Street would be closed to traffic from Thursday night, and from midnight Saturday the street would be “on lockdown”, said Supt Dalton, with footpaths closed to allow for a security sweep. There will also be multiple road closures around the route of the parade.

Jennifer Gilna of the National Transport Authority (NTA) said the largest transport service in the State’s history had been organised. Tara Street station will be closed on Easter Sunday, bus routes will be adjusted to stop outside the traffic cordon, and temporary taxi ranks will be in place. Luas passengers will terminate at Harcourt Street or at Smithfield.

Iarnród Éireann would be putting on “every Dart, train and intercity service available”, Ms Gilna said, and Dublin Bus would have 700 buses at peak times. A commemorative Leap card will be available for €10, on which two adults and up to four children can travel for 24 hours.

Asked about alternative arrangements should the threatened Luas strike go ahead, the NTA said it would be regrettable if it did, but all transport providers would be operating at capacity and it was hoped that would be sufficient.

For more, see Ireland.ie.