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Republicans in protest over Rising memorial that lists British dead

By Martin Grant

Published 04/04/2016

Acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny with Thomas Murphy (95), whose great-uncle Thomas Meleady is named on the wall
Acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny with Thomas Murphy (95), whose great-uncle Thomas Meleady is named on the wall
Mr Kenny lays a wreath
Protesters outside the cemetery

Dissident republicans tried to disrupt the unveiling of a memorial wall in Dublin that lists the names of all those who died in the 1916 Easter Rising, including British soldiers.

Hundreds gathered yesterday for the unveiling of the monument at Glasnevin Cemetery and an interfaith service.

However, scuffles marred the beginning of the ceremony with a small group of protesters rallying outside the graveyard.

A small group of people opposed to the monument - because it includes deceased British military - rallied outside holding republican flags.

Despite the peaceful service, Garda arrested a 15-year-old following a clash between officers and protesters.

Fireworks were set alight and thrown at officers, while individuals also attempted to burn the Union flag in a brief clash with authorities.

One protester played rebel songs into a megaphone in a bid to disturb the service being held inside the cemetery.

Republican Sinn Fein, which was one of the groups present, refused to condemn the protest.

The group's president Des Dalton said that a "mix of groups" were involved.

Without distinction between the two nationalities, the wall lists the names of all those who died during the 1916 Easter Rising in chronological and alphabetical order.

The necrology wall lists the names of 485 people identified as having died in the rebellion - including 262 civilians, 107 British soldiers, 58 rebels and 13 policemen.

Children from nearby schools unveiled the wall, while acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny laid a wreath during the event, which was part of the official State commemorations. Representatives from the Jewish, Islamic and Christian faiths - including Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin - were invited to lead an act of commemoration.

Other notable figures at the ceremony included former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and Stormont Justice Minister David Ford.

Ahead of the event, Alliance leader Mr Ford - who had earlier declined to attend what he called a "celebration" in Dublin of the uprising - said the memorial "shows a mature, respectful way to commemorate the events". Sinn Fein did not attend after TD Aengus O Snodaigh criticised the decision to list "the fallen freedom fighters of the 1916 Rising along with members of the British Crown forces".

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