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'"They are soldiers...": Defence Forces WILL have guns during the Easter 2016 parade

Minister for Defence Simon Coveney said the Defence Forces will be central to practically all of the events that will happen next year.

Image: Laura Hutton/Rollingnews.ie

THE MINISTER FOR Defence Simon Coveney said soldiers taking part in the Easter 2016 commemorations will be armed.

He told TheJournal.ie that the Defence Forces will be central to practically all of the events that will happen next year.

Role of guns in commemorations 

Journalist Olivia O’Leary asked yesterday in her RTÉ Drivetime radio column why the Defence Forces had to be armed in next year’s military parade that will see the army and the gardaí parade from Dublin Castle to the GPO.

She asked why guns had to play a role in the ceremony, stating we should remember the men and women of 1916 and not their guns.

96th Easter 1916 Commemorations Source: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

Coveney clarified his view on the matter today, saying the Defence Forces will be armed when marching in the parade next year.

They are soldiers after all and their job is to defend the state both at home and the state’s interests abroad and they will be marching as soldiers. They will be part of an all inclusive year of commemoration both about looking back and looking forward.I think there will be no surprises there.

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