Flag Raising Ceremony, Dublin Castle
The first State ceremony of 2016 commemorating the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising took place in Dublin Castle on 01 January. President Michael D. Higgins and Taoiseach Enda Kenny T.D., led the flag-raising ceremony marking the start of the centenary year.
Attendance also included Lord Mayor Críona Ní Dhálaigh, Tánaiste Joan Burton T.D. Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Heather Humphreys T.D., Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces Vice-Admiral Mark Mellett DSM and relatives of those who died during the Easter Rising.
The President was escorted to Dublin by an Escort of Honour drawn from 2 Cavalry Squadron under the command of Captain David Caughlan. The President inspected a Guard of Honour from the 7 Infantry Battalion under the command of Captain Desmond Collins. The Honour Guard, drawn from the 2 Field Artillery Regiment, was commanded by Lieutenant Selma Bedair.
The ceremony consisted of two elements: the reading by the Defence Forces of the Roll of Honour of those volunteers who lost their lives during the 1916 Rising, followed by a Flag Raising Ceremony.
The names of 78 volunteers who died as a result of Easter Week were read out by Captain Eoghan Carton and Captain Gillian Costello. Rev Fr Seamus Madigan, Head Chaplain to the Forces, addressed the assembly.
Three Flags were raised in the upper courtyard of Dublin Castle: the Tricolour, the Flag of the Irish Republic and the Irish Citizen Army Flag. During Easter Week 1916, both the Tricolour Flag and the Flag of the Irish Republic flew on the GPO, whereas the Citizen Army Flag flew from the Imperial Hotel.
Musical Honours were rendered by the Army Number 1 Band, under the baton of Captain Fergus Carroll. RTE’s Cór na nÓg sang Danny Boy, There is Peace and Sunrise.
Throughout 2016, more than 40 State ceremonial events will be held as part of the Ireland 2016 centenary programme, as well a growing list of more than 4,000 events nationwide, including 2,000 community-led initiatives and more than 1,000 international events being held mostly at Irish embassies.