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Easter Rising medals presented to Irish Defence Forces

By David Young, Press Association

The Irish President has awarded medals to members of the Irish Defence Forces to recognise their efforts in a year that marked the centenary of the Easter Rising.

Michael D Higgins was assisted by Irish deputy premier, Tanaiste Frances Fitzgerald, and a number of government ministers as they presented the commemorative medals at a ceremony in Dublin.

A group of serving permanent and reserve members of the Defence Forces were honoured at the event in Dublin Castle.

It was one of the last big set piece events in a year of official commemorations to mark the 100th anniversary of the uprising again British rule on the streets of Dublin - a seminal event that paved the way for future Irish independence.

Smaller scale medal ceremonies are planned for 11 military installations across the Irish Republic so all Defence Force members are recognised.

Ms Fitzgerald said: "I, along with members of the Government and the citizens of our country, have participated in remarkable and moving ceremonies commemorating key events that took place 100 years ago.

"The awarding of the 1916 Centenary Commemorative Medal is a fitting tribute and thank you from the Government, on behalf of the people of Ireland, to our Defence Forces for their dedication to duty during this commemorative year."

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