Memorial events to mark time first shots of 1916 Rising were fired
By Fiachra Ó Cionnaith, Political Reporter
Senior Government ministers will attend wreath laying memorial events at key Easter Rising sites this afternoon to mark the first shots fired in the rebellion 100 years ago.
Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald, Defence Minister Simon Coveney, Health Minister Leo Varadkar, Jobs Minister Richard Bruton, Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan, Environment Minister Alan Kelly, Heritage Minister Heather Humphreys and Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe will attend the synchronised events at precisely 1.15pm this afternoon - the exact time the violence which engulfed 1916 began.
In Dublin, where one of the events will also be attended by President Michael D Higgins, senior Government ministers will honour all of those who died or were involved in the rising at seven locations across the city.
- The Four Courts, where Ms Fitzgerald and chief justice Susan Denham will take part in a ceremony to remember what happened at the scene, which saw some of the most intense fighting 100 years ago.
- Jacob's Biscuit Factory, now the location of the national archives and DIT Aungier Street, where Mr Kelly will lay a wreath on behalf of those who fought in na Fianna Eireann and Cumann na mBan, before ex-national archives chairman justice Peter Charlton gives a short reading.
- Boland's Mill and Bakery, which saw intense fighting throughout Easter week 1916, where Mr Donohoe will remember the dead and commemorations advisory group chair Maurice Manning will give a short reading.
- The South Dublin Union, now on the grounds of St James's Hospital, where Mr Bruton will lay a wreath and Prof Davis Coakley will give a short reading.
- City Hall on Cork Hill in Dublin, where the events at the location and Dublin Castle - which saw the first shots of the rebellion occur as Sean Connolly and his colleagues marched - where Mr Flanagan and Dublin lord mayor Cllr Criona Ni Dhalaigh will attend.
- St Stephen's Green and the RCSI, where Mr Varadkar and RCSI president Declan J Magee will honour Irish Citizens Army members who dug trenches at the scene.
- Moore Street, the site of the provisional government of Ireland after the retreat from the GPO and where the surrender orders were issued, where Ms Humphreys will lay a wreath on behalf of Government and commandant Padraic Kennedy will give a short reading.
Other events have already taken place across the country this morning, including Mr Coveney attending a proclamation reading at the Grand Parade in Cork City.
Education Minister Jan O' Sullivan attended an event in Athenry.
Outgoing Children's Minister James Reilly took part in a separate commemoration in Ashbourne, while other events occurred in Enniscorthy and other locations.
This afternoon at 3pm, President Michael D Higgins will also give a detailed speech at an RTÉ event in the Mansion House.
He is expected to again call for Ireland to take the commemoration's opportunity to redouble efforts to build a more inclusive Republic.