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Dublin 1916 celebrations show Northern Ireland how to cope with past, says Villiers

By Adrian Rutherford

Published 05/04/2016

DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 27: In this photo provided by the Air Corps Press Office, the view of the Parade from Roof of the Blood bank seen during the military parade marking the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising on March 27, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. The 1916 rebellion was an attempt by Irish forces to overthrow the British government in Ireland. Although unsuccessful it was seen as a significant move in the creation of the Irish republic when public opinion turned in favour of the rebels after British forces defeated the rebellion and executed it's leaders. (Photo by Irish Defence Forces via Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 27: In this photo provided by the Air Corps Press Office, the view of the Parade from Roof of the Blood bank seen during the military parade marking the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising on March 27, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. The 1916 rebellion was an attempt by Irish forces to overthrow the British government in Ireland. Although unsuccessful it was seen as a significant move in the creation of the Irish republic when public opinion turned in favour of the rebels after British forces defeated the rebellion and executed it's leaders. (Photo by Irish Defence Forces via Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 27: President Michael D. Higgins lays a wreath on the site where the 1916 leaders were executed at the Easter Sunday Wreath-laying ceremony in Kilmanham Gaol at the Breakers Yard on March 27, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. Today marks the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising in the Republic of Ireland when in 1916 a rebellion was attempted to oust British rule of the country. (Photo by Maxwells/Irish Government - Pool/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 27: People watch the centenary parade on March 27, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. Today marks the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising in the Republic of Ireland when in 1916 a rebellion was attempted to oust British rule of the country. (Photo by Maxwells/Irish Government - Pool/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 27: A general view during the Easter Sunday Commemoration Ceremony and parade on March 27, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. Today marks the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising in the Republic of Ireland when in 1916 a rebellion was attempted to oust British rule of the country. (Photo by Maxwells/Irish Government - Pool/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 27: A general view during the Easter Sunday Commemoration Ceremony and parade on March 27, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. Today marks the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising in the Republic of Ireland when in 1916 a rebellion was attempted to oust British rule of the country. (Photo by Maxwells/Irish Government - Pool/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 27: A general view during the Easter Sunday Commemoration Ceremony at the General Post Office on March 27, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. Today marks the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising in the Republic of Ireland when in 1916 a rebellion was attempted to oust British rule of the country. (Photo by Maxwells/Irish Government - Pool/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 27: In this photo provided by the Air Corps Press Office, the view of the Parade from Roof of the Blood bank seen during the military parade marking the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising on March 27, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. The 1916 rebellion was an attempt by Irish forces to overthrow the British government in Ireland. Although unsuccessful it was seen as a significant move in the creation of the Irish republic when public opinion turned in favour of the rebels after British forces defeated the rebellion and executed it's leaders. (Photo by Irish Defence Forces via Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 27: Acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the Easter Sunday Commemoration Ceremony and Parade from OConnell Street on March 27, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. Today marks the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising in the Republic of Ireland when in 1916 a rebellion was attempted to oust British rule of the country. (Photo by Maxwells/Irish Government - Pool/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 27: A general view during the Easter Sunday Commemoration Ceremony and Parade from OConnell Street on March 27, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. Today marks the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising in the Republic of Ireland when in 1916 a rebellion was attempted to oust British rule of the country. (Photo by Maxwells/Irish Government - Pool/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 27: Former Presidents of Ireland Mary McAleese and Mary Robinson at the Easter Sunday Commemoration Ceremony and Parade from OConnell Street on March 27, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. Today marks the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising in the Republic of Ireland when in 1916 a rebellion was attempted to oust British rule of the country. (Photo by Maxwells/Irish Government - Pool/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 27: In this photo provided by the Air Corps Press Office, the view of the Parade from Roof of the Blood bank seen during the military parade marking the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising on March 27, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. The 1916 rebellion was an attempt by Irish forces to overthrow the British government in Ireland. Although unsuccessful it was seen as a significant move in the creation of the Irish republic when public opinion turned in favour of the rebels after British forces defeated the rebellion and executed it's leaders. (Photo by Irish Defence Forces via Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 27: A young girl holds flowers during the Easter Sunday Commemoration Ceremony at the General Post Office on March 27, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. Today marks the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising in the Republic of Ireland when in 1916 a rebellion was attempted to oust British rule of the country. (Photo by Maxwells/Irish Government - Pool/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 27: President Michael D. Higgins lays a wreath during the Easter Sunday Commemoration Ceremony at the General Post Office on March 27, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. Today marks the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising in the Republic of Ireland when in 1916 a rebellion was attempted to oust British rule of the country. (Photo by Maxwells/Irish Government - Pool/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 27: Acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny chats to President Michael D. Higgins at the Easter Sunday Commemoration Ceremony and Parade from OConnell Street on March 27, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. Today marks the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising in the Republic of Ireland when in 1916 a rebellion was attempted to oust British rule of the country. (Photo by Maxwells/Irish Government - Pool/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 27: In this photo provided by the Air Corps Press Office, the view of the Parade from Roof of the Blood bank seen during the military parade marking the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising on March 27, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. The 1916 rebellion was an attempt by Irish forces to overthrow the British government in Ireland. Although unsuccessful it was seen as a significant move in the creation of the Irish republic when public opinion turned in favour of the rebels after British forces defeated the rebellion and executed it's leaders. (Photo by Irish Defence Forces via Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 27: In this photo provided by the Air Corps Press Office, the view of the Parade from Roof of the Blood bank seen during the military parade marking the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising on March 27, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. The 1916 rebellion was an attempt by Irish forces to overthrow the British government in Ireland. Although unsuccessful it was seen as a significant move in the creation of the Irish republic when public opinion turned in favour of the rebels after British forces defeated the rebellion and executed it's leaders. (Photo by Irish Defence Forces via Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 27: In this photo provided by the Air Corps Press Office, the view of the Parade from Roof of the Blood bank seen during the military parade marking the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising on March 27, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. The 1916 rebellion was an attempt by Irish forces to overthrow the British government in Ireland. Although unsuccessful it was seen as a significant move in the creation of the Irish republic when public opinion turned in favour of the rebels after British forces defeated the rebellion and executed it's leaders. (Photo by Irish Defence Forces via Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 27: In this photo provided by the Air Corps Press Office, the view of the Parade from Roof of the Blood bank seen during the military parade marking the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising on March 27, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. The 1916 rebellion was an attempt by Irish forces to overthrow the British government in Ireland. Although unsuccessful it was seen as a significant move in the creation of the Irish republic when public opinion turned in favour of the rebels after British forces defeated the rebellion and executed it's leaders. (Photo by Irish Defence Forces via Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 27: In this photo provided by the Air Corps Press Office, the view of the Parade from Roof of the Blood bank seen during the military parade marking the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising on March 27, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. The 1916 rebellion was an attempt by Irish forces to overthrow the British government in Ireland. Although unsuccessful it was seen as a significant move in the creation of the Irish republic when public opinion turned in favour of the rebels after British forces defeated the rebellion and executed it's leaders. (Photo by Irish Defence Forces via Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 27: In this photo provided by the Air Corps Press Office, the view of the Parade from Roof of the Blood bank seen during the military parade marking the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising on March 27, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. The 1916 rebellion was an attempt by Irish forces to overthrow the British government in Ireland. Although unsuccessful it was seen as a significant move in the creation of the Irish republic when public opinion turned in favour of the rebels after British forces defeated the rebellion and executed it's leaders. (Photo by Irish Defence Forces via Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 27: This photo provided by the Air Corps Press Office, shows a general view of the the military parade marking the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising on March 27, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. The 1916 rebellion was an attempt by Irish forces to overthrow the British government in Ireland. Although unsuccessful it was seen as a significant move in the creation of the Irish republic when public opinion turned in favour of the rebels after British forces defeated the rebellion and executed it's leaders. (Photo by Irish Defence Forces via Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 27: This photo provided by the Air Corps Press Office, shows a general view of the the military parade marking the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising on March 27, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. The 1916 rebellion was an attempt by Irish forces to overthrow the British government in Ireland. Although unsuccessful it was seen as a significant move in the creation of the Irish republic when public opinion turned in favour of the rebels after British forces defeated the rebellion and executed it's leaders. (Photo by Irish Defence Forces via Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 27: This photo provided by the Air Corps Press Office, shows a general view taken from the rooftop opposite GPO during the the military parade marking the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising on March 27, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. The 1916 rebellion was an attempt by Irish forces to overthrow the British government in Ireland. Although unsuccessful it was seen as a significant move in the creation of the Irish republic when public opinion turned in favour of the rebels after British forces defeated the rebellion and executed it's leaders. (Photo by Irish Defence Forces via Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 27: This photo provided by the Air Corps Press Office, shows a general view of the the military parade marking the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising on March 27, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. The 1916 rebellion was an attempt by Irish forces to overthrow the British government in Ireland. Although unsuccessful it was seen as a significant move in the creation of the Irish republic when public opinion turned in favour of the rebels after British forces defeated the rebellion and executed it's leaders. (Photo by Irish Defence Forces via Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 27: In this photo provided by the Air Corps Press Office, the Irish Defence Forces perform during the military parade marking the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising on March 27, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. The 1916 rebellion was an attempt by Irish forces to overthrow the British government in Ireland. Although unsuccessful it was seen as a significant move in the creation of the Irish republic when public opinion turned in favour of the rebels after British forces defeated the rebellion and executed it's leaders. (Photo by Irish Defence Forces via Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 27: This photo provided by the Air Corps Press Office, shows a general view of the the military parade marking the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising on March 27, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. The 1916 rebellion was an attempt by Irish forces to overthrow the British government in Ireland. Although unsuccessful it was seen as a significant move in the creation of the Irish republic when public opinion turned in favour of the rebels after British forces defeated the rebellion and executed it's leaders. (Photo by Irish Defence Forces via Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 27: This photo provided by the Air Corps Press Office, shows a general view of the the military parade marking the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising on March 27, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. The 1916 rebellion was an attempt by Irish forces to overthrow the British government in Ireland. Although unsuccessful it was seen as a significant move in the creation of the Irish republic when public opinion turned in favour of the rebels after British forces defeated the rebellion and executed it's leaders. (Photo by Irish Defence Forces via Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 27: This photo provided by the Air Corps Press Office, shows a general view of the the military parade marking the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising on March 27, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. The 1916 rebellion was an attempt by Irish forces to overthrow the British government in Ireland. Although unsuccessful it was seen as a significant move in the creation of the Irish republic when public opinion turned in favour of the rebels after British forces defeated the rebellion and executed it's leaders. (Photo by Irish Defence Forces via Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 27: This photo provided by the Air Corps Press Office, shows a general view of the the military parade marking the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising on March 27, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. The 1916 rebellion was an attempt by Irish forces to overthrow the British government in Ireland. Although unsuccessful it was seen as a significant move in the creation of the Irish republic when public opinion turned in favour of the rebels after British forces defeated the rebellion and executed it's leaders. (Photo by Irish Defence Forces via Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 27: This photo provided by the Air Corps Press Office, shows a general view taken from the rooftop opposite GPO during the the military parade marking the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising on March 27, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. The 1916 rebellion was an attempt by Irish forces to overthrow the British government in Ireland. Although unsuccessful it was seen as a significant move in the creation of the Irish republic when public opinion turned in favour of the rebels after British forces defeated the rebellion and executed it's leaders. (Photo by Irish Defence Forces via Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 27: This photo provided by the Air Corps Press Office, shows a general view of the the military parade marking the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising on March 27, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. The 1916 rebellion was an attempt by Irish forces to overthrow the British government in Ireland. Although unsuccessful it was seen as a significant move in the creation of the Irish republic when public opinion turned in favour of the rebels after British forces defeated the rebellion and executed it's leaders. (Photo by Irish Defence Forces via Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 27: In this photo provided by the Air Corps Press Office, the 2nd Field Artillery Regiment fires 21 gun salutes during the the military parade marking the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising on March 27, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. The 1916 rebellion was an attempt by Irish forces to overthrow the British government in Ireland. Although unsuccessful it was seen as a significant move in the creation of the Irish republic when public opinion turned in favour of the rebels after British forces defeated the rebellion and executed it's leaders. (Photo by Irish Defence Forces via Getty Images)
Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny (2L) talks with Irish President Michael D. Higgins (C) with his wife Sabina (R) as they attend the programme of commemorative events to mark the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising in Dublin on March 27, 2016. Ireland marked the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising, a rebellion against British rule that paved the way for independence, with the largest commemorative events in its history. The rebels who seized buildings across Dublin and proclaimed an Irish republic on Easter Monday 1916 were honoured by a 4.4-kilometre (2.7-mile) parade through the capital for hundreds of thousands of spectators. / AFP PHOTO / MAXWELLS - IRISH GOVERNMENT POOL / MAXWELLSMAXWELLS/AFP/Getty Images
A smokes a cigarette outside a cafe with an Irish flag in the window with dates to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising in Dublin on March 27, 2016 on a day of events officially marking the anniversary. Ireland marked the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising, a rebellion against British rule that paved the way for independence, with the largest commemorative events in its history. The rebels who seized buildings across Dublin and proclaimed an Irish republic on Easter Monday 1916 were honoured by a 4.4-kilometre (2.7-mile) parade through the capital for hundreds of thousands of spectators. / AFP PHOTO / Paul FaithPAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images
Acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny (left) attends a wreath laying ceremony at the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin, in honour of those who fought and died for Ireland's freedom. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday March 26, 2016. Later, President Michael D Higgins is expected to meet the families of those killed during a special event in Dublin's RDS where he will speak about the debt of gratitude owed to the rebels immortalised in the history books as well as the "unsung heroes" who took to the streets one hundred years ago. See PA story IRISH 1916. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Handout photo issued by the Defence Forces of marching elements comprised of personnel drawn from Army, Air Corps, Naval Service, reserve Defence Forces, Defence Forces Veterans, and selected Emergency Services as they march along OÕConnell Street, as part of the 1916 Easter Rising centenary commemorations in Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday March 27, 2016. See PA story IRISH 1916. Photo credit should read: Defence Forces/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
Handout photo issued by the Defence Forces of marching elements comprised of personnel drawn from Army, Air Corps, Naval Service, reserve Defence Forces, Defence Forces Veterans, and selected Emergency Services as they march along OÕConnell Street, as part of the 1916 Easter Rising centenary commemorations in Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday March 27, 2016. See PA story IRISH 1916. Photo credit should read: Defence Forces/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
(left to right) Gerry Noble from Portmarnock, Dublin with Letitia Trappe from Balbriggan, and his wife Helen Noble, and Pat Trappe beside O'Connell Bridge in Dublin during the 1916 Easter Rising commemoration. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday March 27, 2016. See PA story IRISH 1916 Crowds. Photo credit should read: Ed Carty/PA Wire
Handout photo issued by the Irish Government of Sheila OÄôLeary, 94, from Clontarf, whose father Thomas Byrne fought in the GPO in 1916, holds his medals, on OÄôConnell Street, as she awaits the 1916 Easter Rising centenary commemorations in Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday March 27, 2016. The President was flanked by a military guard of honour drawn from the Defence Forces cadet school. Prayers were said before acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny invited the head of State to lay the wreath "on behalf of the people of Ireland in honour of all those who died". After a minute's silence, a lone piper from the Army No 1 Band played the lament Wrap The Green Flag Around Me Boys, before the Last Post was sounded. The Irish Tricolour, which flew at half mast throughout, was then raised. See PA story IRISH 1916. Photo credit should read: Maxwells/PA Wire
Handout photo issued by the Irish Government of troops and the crowd in OÄôConnell Street, during the Easter Rising centenary commemorations in Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday March 27, 2016. The President was flanked by a military guard of honour drawn from the Defence Forces cadet school. Prayers were said before acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny invited the head of State to lay the wreath "on behalf of the people of Ireland in honour of all those who died". After a minute's silence, a lone piper from the Army No 1 Band played the lament Wrap The Green Flag Around Me Boys, before the Last Post was sounded. The Irish Tricolour, which flew at half mast throughout, was then raised. See PA story IRISH 1916. Photo credit should read: Maxwells/PA Wire
Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin (centre) at the 1916 Easter Rising centenary commemorations in Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday March 27, 2016. See PA story IRISH 1916. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness (front centre) during the 1916 Easter Rising centenary commemorations in Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday March 27, 2016. See PA story IRISH 1916. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Theresa Villiers believes Dublin has shown Northern Ireland how to deal with the past.

The Secretary of State praised the Irish Government for dealing sensitively with the centenary of the Easter Rising.

Writing in today's Belfast Telegraph, Ms Villiers added: "The way the Irish Government handled the centenary showed that it is possible to deal with difficult and contested issues in ways that are inclusive and designed to promote reconciliation rather than division. I commend them for that."

Ms Villiers also admitted that a return to direct rule was possible last year.

A political crisis was sparked by allegations Provisional IRA members were involved in the murder of Belfast man Kevin McGuigan.

Peter Robinson stepped aside as First Minister in September, along with all but one of the DUP's ministers. They resigned and were reappointed more than 20 times. They eventually resumed their posts on October 20.

The impasse over the Executive's budget and welfare reform also caused deadlock.

Ms Villiers wrote: "As we entered the autumn there was a real danger of early Assembly elections and potentially the collapse of Stormont and a return to direct rule from Westminster.

"After everything that has been achieved here, that would have been a severe setback for Northern Ireland."

Intensive cross-party talks ended with the Fresh Start Agreement. Consensus was reached over paramilitarism, finance and welfare reform, but the legacy of the Troubles remains unresolved.

File photo dated 14/05/1916 of a view from Nelson's Column showing ruins in the city of Dublin. PA
File photo dated 14/05/1916 of a view from Nelson's Column showing ruins in the city of Dublin. PA
File photo dated 11/05/1916 of Sackville Street (O'Connell St) and the River Liffey at Eden Quay showing the devastation wrought during the 'Easter Rising', as a trove of rarely-seen photographs lays bare the utter carnage wreaked on Dublin during the tumultuous Easter Rising 100 years ago this weekend. PA
File photo dated 30/04/1916 of British troops at a road block outside Cassidy's Grocery during the Easter Rising in Dublin, 1916 as a trove of rarely-seen photographs lays bare the utter carnage wreaked on Dublin during the tumultuous Easter Rising 100 years ago this weekend. PA
File photo dated 11/05/1916 of Sackville Street from the Nelson Column after the Rising in Dublin as a trove of rarely-seen photographs lays bare the utter carnage wreaked on Dublin during the tumultuous Easter Rising 100 years ago this weekend. PA
File photo dated 01/04/1916 of crowds outside Bow Street court, for the Roger Casement Trial as a trove of rarely-seen photographs lays bare the utter carnage wreaked on Dublin during the tumultuous Easter Rising 100 years ago this weekend. PA
File photo dated 01/05/1916 of children carrying wood from Sackville Street, Dublin after the Rising as a trove of rarely-seen photographs lays bare the utter carnage wreaked on Dublin during the tumultuous Easter Rising 100 years ago this weekend. PA
File photo dated 24/04/1916 of a poster issued by members of Sinn Fein proclaiming the creation of an Irish Republic. PA
File photo dated 11/05/21916 of souvenir hunters of all ages scrabble amongst the rubble in the streets of Dublin in the aftermath of the 'Easter Rising'. PA
File photo dated 11/05/1916 of damage in Dublin from the top of the Nelson Pillar. PA
File photo dated 11/05/1916 of the Dublin Savings Bank closed after the Rising. PA
File photo dated 11/05/1916 of British soldiers guarding an improvised armoured car made from a locomotive boiler and used to convey troops from point to point during the 'Easter Rising'. PA
File photo dated 11/05/1916 of the ruins of the General Post Office viewed from the top of Nelson's Column , Dublin as rebels, proclaiming an Irish Republic, seized control of the building on the 24th April. PA
File photo dated 25/04/1916 of the scene from O'Connell Street in Dublin. PA
File photo dated 11/05/1916 of a part of the ruins of the Picture Gallery . PA

Ms Villiers said the failure to deal with the past was "regrettable". She added: "The UK Government remains committed to doing this and we have a manifesto pledge to deliver them.

"This remains a high priority for me and my team, not least because I believe that these new institutions will create better outcomes for victims and survivors. This should be one of the first issues the new Executive considers."

Further Reading

Theresa Villiers: After our longest unbroken period of devolution for 45 years, politics here has rarely been more stable  

Ms Villiers also touched on the terror threat in Northern Ireland. Last month, a prison officer died after being injured in a dissident republican bomb attack in east Belfast.

Adrian Ismay (52) was seriously hurt after a booby-trap device exploded under his van on March 4. He died 11 days later.

Ms Villiers said: "Sadly, the appalling murder of Adrian Ismay last month reminded us of the grim threat we continue to face from terrorists.

"The Government will always give its fullest possible support to those who work to keep us safe and secure.

"Terrorism will never succeed. The future of Northern Ireland will only ever be decided by democracy and consent, not by violence."

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