This weekend marks the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising. The Rising was one of the defining moments in the struggle for Irish independence which began on Easter Monday, 1916, when Pádraig Pearse read the Proclamation, Poblacht na hÉireann, from the steps of the GPO on O’Connell Street.
After almost a week of heavy fighting between the rebels and the British Army, leaving much of the city centre destroyed, the uprising was quickly supressed and the leaders rounded up. The seven signatories of the Proclamation; Pádraig Pearse , James Connolly, Thomas Clarke, Séan MacDiarmada, Joseph Mary Plunkett, Éamonn Ceannt and Thomas MacDonagh, were all excuted by firing squad in Kilmainham Gaol between 3 and 12 May 1916.
This weekend will see a whole programme of events taking place around the country. Here’s a quick preview of what’s going on in the capital:
- The Parade will commence at St Stephen’s Green at 10 AM via Cuffe Street, Kevin Street, Patrick Street, Thomas Street, Parliament Street, Dame Street, Westmoreland Street, past the GPO on O’Connell Street, North Frederick Street, Dorset Street and finishing on Bolton Street.
- At 11.30AM, at the GPO, the parade will pause for a brief ceremony where the Proclamation will be read by a member of the Defence Forces and a wreath will be laid by Uachtarán na hÉireann Michael D. Higgins. There will be a minute’s silence for all those who died in the Rising and the National Flag on top of the GPO will then be raised to full mast. The ceremony will conclude with the playing of the National Anthem.
- A full Defence Forces military parade will then march past the GPO from St Stephen’s Green to Parnell Square. It will include an Aer Corps flypast, and a 21-gun salute.
- At 1:15pm on Easter Sunday, 1916, the first shots of the Rising were fired. This Easter Sunday, 1:15pm will herald synchronised wreath-laying ceremonies at strategic points around Dublin, starting with Dublin Castle.
- On Easter Monday, RTE host a large-scale multi-location public event that will take place in Dublin city, including hundreds of talks, walking tours, music, dance, street art, street theatre, and moments of reflection and celebration. This free event will run from 11Am – 6PM.
- As part of RTE’s Road to the Rising event, Jack L, The High Kings and Sharon Shannon will all be performing throughout the day on O’Connell St.
Full schedule details can be found on the official website
And if that wasn’t enough, here’s a picture of Marty Morrissey in full 1916 Volunteer uniform. C’est magnifique!