Ireland’s President Michael D Higgins has laid a wreath in commemoration of the 1916 Easter Rising.
In a televised commemoration, the ceremony began with Mr Higgins ringing the Peace Bell at Aras an Uachtarain, followed by a prayer and a reading of the Proclamation.
Mr Higgins laid the wreath at a group of 16 birch trees that were planted by the president and his wife Sabina.
The laying of the wreath was followed by a minute’s silence, commemorating those who died in the Easter Rising as well as the victims of the Covid-19 pandemic.
President Michael D Higgins today led a special commemoration of the 1916 #EasterRising.— President of Ireland (@PresidentIRL) April 12, 2020
The President Higgins rang the Peace Bell and laid a wreath at the 16 birch trees planted in honour of the revolutionaries executed after the Rising.
Read more: https://t.co/jnMDi23laA pic.twitter.com/RYKILRPtke
The ceremony, which was reduced because of the Covid-19 restrictions, was broadcast live from the Aras and the GPO.
This was followed by the lowering of the national flag to half-mast on the GPO rooftop.
In the GPO inner courtyard, Head Chaplain to the Forces Fr Seamus Madigan read a prayer of remembrance.
Captain Darren Reilly read the Proclamation in front of the GPO.
Capt Darren Reilly reads the Proclamation outside the GPO at a ceremony marking the anniversary of The Easter 1916 Rising. The ceremony was reduced in line with @HSELive #COVID19 guidelines. #ÃglaighnahÃireann would like to wish the people of Ireland a safe and #HappyEaster pic.twitter.com/bqgY07tvRw— Ãglaigh na hÃireann (@defenceforces) April 12, 2020
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar attended the event at the GPO.
In his prayer, Fr Madigan called for special remembrance of those who have died as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak.
He said: “As we commemorate the sacrifice of those who died during 1916 and gather in their memory, we pray for our country, our people and the challenges of these times, remembering especially those who have died as a result of the Covid-19 virus.”
He also called for “healing of those touched by Covid-19, strength for all who carry the burden of this illness and courage for those who care for our fragile world”.