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Looking back: 16 moments from the 1916 centenary that buoyed the nation's spirits
From the big moments to the little memories – here are our highlights from the celebrations.

FROM EVENTS IN our primary schools, to the Easter parade and the stunning ‘Centenary’ TV special – it’s probably fair to say that in the eyes of many, the 1916 commemorative events scheduled for this year went quite well.

But the success of those events was far from assured. Remember the controversies that cropped up during the planning process? Whether or not to invite the British royals; the launch at the GPO that saw the Taoiseach heckled by Irish Water protesters; the promotional video that was slammed by a prominent historian as “embarrassing unhistorical sh*t”.

The political scraps and controversies were largely put aside in the weeks leading up to Easter weekend…

Here are sixteen moments – large and small – that may yet show up whenever someone sits down to edit together the 2016 edition of Reeling in the Years.

Proclamation Day

15 March was designated as Proclamation Day – and from pre-schools to universities, the day was being marked wherever classes are taught.

At the heart of the idea was the Proclamation for a New Generation project, whereby schools and colleges wrote and shared their own proclamation for the Ireland of 2016.

Students also raised the flags that were issued to every school in the country by members of the Defence Forces.

123 Shane O'Neill Photography Students at Gardiner Street Primary School in Dublin. Shane O'Neill Photography

This clever move by Wicklow

Commissioned by Wicklow County Council, Freedom: A 1916 Story is a stop-motion telling of the 1916 Rising made using Lego.

Made by Irish creative learning company Createschool, it started to rack up the clicks mid-March and now has over 65,000 views on Youtube…

Createschool / YouTube

This Freedom of Dublin award

Aged 102, the last surviving child of an executed 1916 leader was granted the Freedom of Dublin on 21 March.

Fr Joseph Mallin’s father was Easter Rising commandant Michael Mallin – a Dublin socialist who was killed by firing squad days after the rebellion.

The Jesuit priest has lived in Hong Kong since leaving Ireland for missionary work in 1948. He was conferred with the award at a ceremony in Wah Yan College in the city.

joseph-mallin-birthday-hong-kong-390x285-390x285 Courtesy of the Mallin family Courtesy of the Mallin family

Marty Morrissey’s centenary regalia

The pride of RTÉ, that moustache. Shame he didn’t stick with it.


This poor frozen child

Áine Lawlor’s interview with this poor chap, early on on the day of the centenary parade, melted hearts all over the country.

It also reminded many of us heading in from the Dublin suburbs to bring a jacket. / YouTube

The reading of the proclamation

The 1916 proclamation, first read out on the steps of Dublin’s GPO by Padraig Pearse on Easter Monday 100 years ago, was read once more at the same spot during the March commemorations.

With Captain Peter Kelleher of the Irish Defence Forces as reader, it was an impassioned, emotive affair.

The flypast / YouTube

The Defence Forces parade

Made up of current personnel and veterans, it took hours to pass through Dublin city centre.

parade RTÉ RTÉ

How Dublin looked

The ingenuitiy of the Irish

This army officer

You may recall the Twitter outrage that broke out, in response to footage of an army officer on the phone behind Michael D Higgins as the commemoration ceremony was taking place.

Plenty of people were quick to judge – but the officer in question works for the press office, and was simply doing his job.

Here’s another picture of him in action on the day…

Greetings from abroad

Not everyone could make it home. These Irish abroad celebrated the day in Tongariro National Park, New Zealand.

Thanks to Brian O’Connor for sending us the photo…


Joining in

People all over Ireland donned outfits from the time to remember 1916 on Easter Monday.


Colm Wilkinson, best known for his long-running role in Les Miserables, brought the house down with his rendition of the U2 song One at RTÉ’s Centenary concert, filmed in the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre.

ivy L / YouTube

Not easy being green…

Not the easiest task in the world, taking a song most closely associated with an amphibian Muppet and repurposing it to encompass the frustrations, contradictions and countless tragedies of the last 100 years on this island.

Step up, Imelda May.


Michael D’s speech

A standing ovation for the President’s speech at the Centenary concert.

It wasn’t even so much what he said, more they way he said it…

Pictures: Ireland marks 100 years since the 1916 Rising >

Watch: The proclamation of the Irish Republic has been read once more at the GPO >

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