A NUMBER of events commemorating the 1916 Easter Rising took place around Cork and across the country today.
People turned out in towns from Clonakilty to Youghal to mark the day, while Taoiseach Micheál Martin and the Minister for Defence Simon Coveney joined President Michael D Higgins at the national commemoration outside of the GPO in Dublin.
It was the first public event to mark the uprising since the beginning of the pandemic.
Mr Higgins laid a wreath during the ceremony, which began at midday. Defence Forces members, a brass band, and representatives of the Air Corps and the Naval Service were also in attendance.
The commemoration involved prayers of remembrance, and the Proclamation was read by Commandant Daire Roache from Co Mayo.
The Irish flag was lowered to half-mast during the ceremony and Private Vincent Murray, of the 27th Infantry Battalion, played a lament outside the GPO.
Relatives of former Irish presidents and family members of the 1916 signatories were also in attendance.
The planned flypast by the Irish Air Corps was cancelled due to the weather.
Cork North Central TD Thomas Gould travelled to Bandon to give the annual oration in West Cork, while Louise O’Reilly TD spoke at a commemoration in Cork City.
“There were loads of events going on right across the city and county. We had our annual Easter Sunday commemoration at Ballycannon in Kerry Pike in the morning, where six IRA volunteers were killed 101 years ago, and it went very well,” Mr Gould said.
“Then I was invited to speak at the Bandon commemoration later in the day. We had our walk from the graveyard and then a piper played a lament and the Proclamation was read out.
“When I gave the oration I actually mentioned what was happening in Ukraine and compared it to where we were 101 years ago and it turned out that there were two Ukrainian women there.
The Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Colm Kelleher, also delivered an address during the afternoon in Macroom.
Mr Kelleher said it was a “great honour” to be asked to deliver the annual oration.
Meanwhile, in Belfast, huge crowds took part in Easter commemorations.
The leader of Sinn Fein, Mary Lou McDonald, addressed attendees in Milltown Cemetery, saying that she sought “partnership” with unionists to help realise the party’s objective of achieving a united Ireland.
Ms McDonald said unionists must have an “equal part” in building what she described as a new Ireland.
“To those of a unionist tradition I say sincerely, we seek partnership with you,” Ms McDonald said.
“A future of equality and freedom belongs to you. A future of progress and change belongs to you. A future of prosperity and opportunity belongs to you.
“British government after British government has disrespected and failed you, time and again. Imagine instead the liberating possibility of full freedom to make all decisions here, in a parliament here, for the people who live here.
“Instead of a government in London turning its back on you, imagine an Ireland where your place is assured and your rights are enshrined in law. Where who you are is woven into the very fabric of who we all are, a people as one in all our diversity.
“An Ireland finally taking its place again as part of the European family and amongst the nations of the world, ready to realise all of our potential. In that spirit, in that belief, there is no limit to what we can achieve together.”
During the commemoration, wreaths were laid for various groups, including the National Graves Association and the GAA. This was followed by the laying of single lilies by young people.
A minute’s silence was held for those who died during the 1916 Rising, followed by a musician playing a lament. The Proclamation was read by Roseleen Walsh.