Special State Ceremonial Event takes place to honour the role of James Connolly and the Irish Citizen Army in the events of 1916.
A special state ceremony to recognise the significant contribution of the Irish Citizen Army and James Connolly in the events of 1916 will be held today (Tuesday 29th March) at Liberty Hall as part of the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme, in conjunction with SIPTU. The ceremony will be attended by the special guest of honour President Michael D. Higgins, as well as the Lord Mayor of Dublin Criona Ní Dhalaigh and Tánaiste Joan Burton.
On Palm Sunday, 16th April 1916, the Green Flag of Ireland was raised over Liberty Hall by 15 year old Molly O’Reilly, the youngest member of the Women’s Section of the Irish Citizen Army. James Connolly, the commanding officer of the Irish Citizen Army and Acting General Secretary of the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union declared that ‘The cause of labour is the cause of Ireland, the cause of Ireland is the cause of labour. They cannot be dissevered’. It was his last public address before the Easter Rising began eight days later.The original flag raised by Molly O’Reilly has been returned on loan to SIPTU by the Inniskillings Museum, Enniskillen and will be on display in Liberty Hall today.”
The ceremony will be in three parts, the first of which includes a reading of the Proclamation and wreath-laying by President Michael D. Higgins at the James Connolly Statue on Beresford Place. This will be followed by a minute’s silence, the playing of the Piper’s lament and Last Post, the raising of the National Flag, Reveille and National Anthem, which will be played by the Army No. 1 Band. The Dublin Fire Brigade Band will perform at the ceremony and the Defence Forces guard of honour will be inspected by President Higgins.
The second part of the ceremony will include a reading by Constance Cowley (relative of Molly O’Reilly) and the raising of the Irish Citizen Army flag to full mast outside Liberty Hall. The Dublin Fire Brigade guard of honour will be inspected by President Higgins, who will then be escorted to the front of Liberty Hall for the unveiling of a commemorative plaque.
The final part of the ceremony takes place inside Liberty Hall and includes readings, a candle lighting ceremony by 15 students from St. Vincent’s National School, North Strand and a keynote address by President Higgins. The ceremony concludes with a performance of The Tri-coloured Ribbon by Peadar Kearney, sung by the St Louis High School Choir.