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President Michael D Higgins leads Easter Rising commemoration

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar took part in the annual commemoration at the GPO in Dublin.

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Michael D Higgins began the ceremony by ringing the Peace Bell at Aras an Uachtarain

Michael D Higgins began the ceremony by ringing the Peace Bell at Aras an Uachtarain

Michael D Higgins began the ceremony by ringing the Peace Bell at Aras an Uachtarain

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.

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.

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.

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Taoiseach Leo Varadkar taking part in the annual commemoration at the GPO in Dublin (Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland/PA)

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar taking part in the annual commemoration at the GPO in Dublin (Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland/PA)

PA

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar taking part in the annual commemoration at the GPO in Dublin (Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland/PA)

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”.

PA