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1916 Commemoration

1916 Commemoration at the GPO

Outline of the Commemoration Ceremony

The Defence Forces participates in the Commemoration of the Anniversary of the 1916 Rising. The parade takes place at the GPO on Easter Sunday morning. The event is normally attended by President of Ireland, An Taoiseach, Minister for Defence, the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Representatives of the Garda Síochana and the Defence Forces General Staff.

Representatives from across the Defence Forces are involved in the ceremony, including Reserve Defence Forces, the 1 Brigade and 2 Brigade, the Defence Forces Training Centre, the Air Corps and Naval Service. Musical accompaniment for the ceremony is provided by a combination of the Defence Forces Brass, Reed and Pipe Bands.

The participating troops arrive on the parade ground from 11.30 am and position themselves outside the GPO. The central Guard of Honour is drawn from the Cadet School of the Military College. There is also a 107 strong presidential Guard of Honour drawn from the one of the RDF battalions.

A Presidential ceremonial Escort of Honour, drawn from the 2 Cavalry Squadron escorts the President from Áras an Uachtaráin to the GPO. When the presidential escort arrives, the President is brought on to the parade ground and the troops on parade render Military Honours to the president, who is then invited to inspect a Guard of Honour.

The solemn ceremony, which is led by the President, the Taoiseach and the Minister Defence, involves prayers of remembrance, a reading of the Proclamation and the laying of a wreath by the President. At noon the National Flag is lowered and the Proclamation is read, on the steps of the G.P.O., by a member of the Defence Forces. At 12.30 pm the Air Corps perform a Fly past in four (4) Pilatus PC9 aircraft.

Members of the public are invited to attend are asked to be in position in the public viewing area outside the GPO by 11.15 am. Large video screens will be erected on either side of the GPO to relay the ceremony to the public. 

A Military Analysis of the Easter Rising by Comdt Liam Campbell (CAOGA)

The main difficulty we have when examining the military conduct of the Rising is the fact that no copy of the insurgents’ Operational Order seems to have survived. Nevertheless their decision to use Dublin city as their area of operations was a sound one.Operations undertaken in an urban environment are today known as fighting in a built-up area (FIBUA). FIBUA gives a lightly armed and equipped force the ability to successfully engage a far stronger and better resourced enemy. It demands a detailed knowledge of the urban area, specialised training, and a particularly high standard of leadership at all levels. As well as manning fixed positions, a defending force requires a mobile disruption force to cover gaps in its defence and a strong mobile reserve. FIBUA carries with it severe difficulties with re-supply and casualty evacuation, as well as a very high rate of ammunition expenditure.

Troops on Parade

  • Reperesntative Groups from the Naval Service, Air Corps, Army Brigades and Formations
  • Captain's Guard of Honour
  • Captain's Escort of Honour - Presidential Escort.
  • Captain's Guard of Honour - Reserve Defence Forces
  • Military Bands - Brass & Reed and Pipe Band
  • Fly Past Pilates PC9s